Last Tuesday, our campus hosted a debate between the Fort Hays Young Dems and Fort Hays College Republicans to discuss our local, state and national issues. Regarding the issues here locally, the choice is clear that Barb Wasinger is the best candidate to represent us in the 111th House District.
There is a claim being tossed around, mainly by Dr. Ed Hammond, Rep. Wasinger’s opponent, that she is “cannibalizing” different Kansas Board of Regents Institutions. This simply isn’t true. Our representative is, and always has been, an enormous supporter of all our state’s institutions, especially Fort Hays. She has passed bills to help our students graduate, bills that supported the various programs offered by FHSU, and bills that help fund our colleges in Kansas, including the university that we are all proud to call home.
Rep. Wasinger and her values of being fiscally responsible is one of the main differences between her and her Democrat opponent. That is why we should take a minute and think about what is at the heart of this debate: Rep. Wasinger is a small business owner, and her opponent is someone whose entire career was subsidized by our university tuition. As we look at issues facing students today, such as skyrocketing costs for higher education and a student loan crisis, my question is who do we think is better situated to address those problems? A mom who put her kids through college on a budget, or a former university president who had every opportunity to address these issues over his 28 years but didn’t.
Rep. Wasinger is the right person for the job. Plain and simple. Her experience as our current state representative has given her the right grasp and understanding of the two major issues facing us as students, the rising cost of education and the economic conditions we face when we graduate. Rep. Wasinger understands that money does not grow on trees, and we should be focusing on helping students graduate without debt and find good paying jobs upon graduation. Instead of funding bloated university bureaucracy, we should be focusing on ways to help students succeed.
On Nov. 8, I invite you to join me in voting for Barb Wasinger to continue as our state representative. Barb knows the issues facing us as students. Let’s vote for someone who is a part of the solution, not someone who created the problem.
Alex Johnson is a political science major at Fort Hays State University.