Note: Opinion pieces in no way reflect the opinion views of the UWM Post.
With midterm exams now over and the November election just days away, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the key issues in the gubernatorial race that will have a big impact on students here at UWM. The skyrocketing cost of a college education, the need to find a job upon graduation, and having leaders that we can have faith in, have experience we can trust and aren’t afraid to enact bold visions are some major issues on the minds of students as they look to cast their vote. Governor Scott Walker has a strong and positive record in these areas and I believe he is the clear choice for students at UWM and across the State of Wisconsin.
Governor Walker put in place a historic two year tuition freeze to bring an end to the massive tuition hikes seen under Democrat Governor Doyle. These tuition hikes ranged from 5.5 to 9.3 percent every year, which quickly increased the cost to attend UW Schools. Many students at UWM work two or three jobs so they can afford a college education. Governor Walker has also increased need based financial aid such as grants to allow more students the opportunity to get a college education. With the tuition freeze now in place and more available financial aid, we as students can have more flexibility with our hard earned money and graduate with dramatically less debt. This stands in stark contrast to Democrat Mary Burke, who not only doesn’t support the tuition freeze, but wants to return to the days of large tuition hikes. Governor Walker is the only candidate that has pledged to continue the tuition freeze.
Finding a job upon earning my degree is certainly on my mind as I look to graduation this December. The Wisconsin economy was in poor shape after Mary Burke served as our State’s Commerce Secretary. Wisconsin lost over 130,000 jobs and unemployment reached a whopping 7.7 percent during Mary Burke’s and Governor Doyle’s time in office. Compare those days to the Wisconsin comeback being seen now where Walker has created over 100,000 new jobs and unemployment has dropped to the lowest it has been since 2008 at 5.5 percent. The jobs numbers from September alone show over 8,400 jobs were created. That is the best September in job creation in a decade! Employers are hiring, businesses are relocating to our state, and entrepreneurs are starting up new businesses moving us to 4th in the Midwest in private sector jobs growth. The economy is improving under Governor Walker from the mess left by Burke and that is fantastic news for us as students looking to enter the job market.
Governor Walker has a bold vision and put in place reforms which continue to benefit college students. He has frozen tuition and will do so again, grown jobs and our economy, and ensured that our budget is balanced and our state services are sound. Walker as Governor has always acted with integrity and has ensured his office is working for the public’s interests despite the attempts of a “John Doe” investigation to smear his character. After a State and Federal Judge found absolutely no wrong doing by Governor Walker it has become clear that the “ongoing John Doe investigation” is nothing more than a partisan fishing expedition. Mary Burke has instead focused her campaign on lying and misleading Wisconsinites. She has received “Pants on Fire” or “Mostly False” ratings from Politifact for just about every claim she has made about Governor Walker. Burke was even caught plagiarizing word for word her Jobs, Veterans, and Rural Communities Plans and has tried to shrug it off as not a big deal. As students here at UWM, if we were caught plagiarizing we would fail the class, face possible expulsion, and it would affect our future employment. As for experience, Mary Burke hasn’t worked in 7 years since serving as Commerce Secretary, and when serving in that role she was called a “disaster” by her predecessor. On top of that news broke this week that Burke was fired by her own family from TREK because of her incompetence. Simply put, Mary Burke is completely unqualified to serve as Governor of any state and has absolutely zero integrity. Governor Walker in comparison is an experience leader who has been working hard for college students and people all across our great state.
With the final Marquette University poll released Wednesday showing a strong turn in Governor Walker’s favor, 50%-43% among likely voters, it is clear the positive impact of his bold vision and reforms are having on our State. I will be casting my vote for Governor Walker Tuesday November 4th and I ask that you join me in doing so to keep Wisconsin moving forward.