The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3A
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of
truths - that all of us are created equal - is the star that
guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through
Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided
all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left
footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say
that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that
our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the
freedom of every soul on Earth."
President Barack Obama
in his second inaugural address
TOP LEFT Soliders visit the Lincoln Memorial Sunday in anticipation of President Barack Obama's second inauguration.
BOTTOM LEFT An Army Staff Sergeant rides his horse in the inaugural parade.
RIGHT During the inaugural parade an Obama supporter waves her American flag.
From Page 1A
Obama said changes need to
go further for the United States,
replacing programs and policies
that are no longer relevant.
"We understand that outworn
programs are inadequate to the
needs of our time," Obama said.
"So we must harness new ideas
and technology to remake our
government, revamp our tax code,
reform our schools and empower
our citizens with the skills they
need to work harder, learn more,
He added that opportunities
must be available for all in order
to move forward as a nation.
"We do not believe that in this
'country freedom is reserved for
the lucky, or happiness for the
few," Obama said.
Aaron Kall, director of the
University's Debate Institute and
debate team, said Obama's sec-
ond inaugural speech was shorter
than the first but went further in
outlining a liberal policy.
"(Obama's second address) was
more succinct, but it was bolder in
the sense that he felt emboldened
by his reelection victory and the
fact thathe doesn't have to run for
office again," Kall said.
Kall added that the address
touted optimism and partner-
ship with the people of the United
States in winning major policy
battles and laid an unusual frame-
"I think he was in uncharted
territory in this speech and in
terms of his call forequality," Kall
A major facet of Obama's call
for equality is student debt loan
policy, which has many young
U.S. citizens struggling to stay
afloat in the slowly recovering
Donald Grimes, senior
research associate and economist
at the University's Institute for
Research for Labor, Employment
and the Economy, said growing
finances could reverse recenteco-
"Student loan debt is one of
those potential exogenous events
that could really upset the apple
cart," Grimes said. "Obviously,
a lot of students have had a hard
time finding jobs."
Grimes said student borrow-
ing for tuition has topped $1
trillion this year. Under a pro-
gram expanded by Obama's first
administration, the government
has been lending more money to
cover student expenses at public,
private and for-profit colleges.
Obama began his first term in
a national economic crisis and
created an economic strategy
accordingly. Grimes said in the
current period of recovery, new
goals must be set to continue on
such a path.
"(The two main problems)
will be the growing inequality
between the haves and the have-
nots and continued difficulties in
dealing with the federal budget
deficit," Grimes said.
Grimes said income inequality
could be at a historic high at the
end of Obama's second term if
measures aren't taken to combat
Among the audience on the
Mall, many. were hopeful about
the next four years, including
American University seniors and
first-time voters Eileen Falk and
Falk, from Southbury, Conn.,
said the president has been put-
ting the country on the right track
in terms of policy related to stu-
"We're always (concerned
about higher education fund-
ing), but I think we're heading
in a good direction with Barack
Obama," Falk said. "It's definitely
a big concern."
Micciolo said the winding
down of her time as an under-
graduate has increased the stress
of dealing with debt.
"We're all graduating in May,
and we're all graduating with a
ton of loans."
From Page 1A
but those in attendance were
noticeably excited about his re-
Eager spectators donned
Obama apparel, danced to Ste-
vie Wonder and chanted across
Pennsylvania Avenue in antici-
pation of seeing the first couple
make their way from the Capi-
tol Building toward the White
House following the inaugural
address. Volunteers worked to
keep the crowd enthused. ,
LSA senior Michael Nevitt,
who attended the inauguration
with a group of University stu-
dents, said he's been a supporter
of Obama since 2008 when he
worked on the then-senator's
presidential campaign. He said
resisting cuts in Pell Grant
funding so more students could
attain a higher education was
one of the biggest factors in his
decision to support the presi-
Nevitt added that he believes
Obama could improve on issues
affecting college students such
as tuition affordability and the
"He said some progres-
sive things about climate
change today,"-Nevitt said, of
the address. "But I'd like to
see a stronger commitment
and stronger goals because I
didn't think that was addressed
enough in his first term."
LSA senior Lauren Coffman,
the communications director
of the University's chapter of
the College Democrats, said
the president's focus on LGBT
issues during his speech was a
welcome addition. ABC News
reported that Obama made his-
tory as the first president to use
the word "gay" in an inaugural
"The president laid out his
vision for his second term and
highlights our nation's continu-
ing struggle for equality for all
citizens," Coffman, who trav-
eled to Washington DC., said.
"His support for LGBT rights
and undocumented students set
a historic precedent for equal-
ity and inclusion."
Stephan Coleman, a 2010
graduate of the University of
Maryland and current Mary-
land resident, said he hopes
Obama continues to push for
lower student loan debt rates in
his second term.
"Four years ago, tuition was
seriously high ... now it's so
much better since (Obama)'s
been in there," Coleman said.
"I think there's so much more
work to do though."
George Washington Univer-
sity sophomore Adey Debebe
also said the student loan issue
played a crucial role in her sup-
port for Obama and believes the
president is a major advocate
for college students.
"He said it in his inaugural
speech: It's all about helping
us so we can help this country
further in the future," Debebe
said. "He doesn't want us to
be unemployed when we come
out of school ... I think it's real-
ly important that people pay
attention to that kind of thing."
Jessi Wolz, Washington, D.C.
resident and recent graduate of
George Washington University,
said she's optimistic about the
president's next four years in
"I'm really looking forward
to Obama being able to under-
take some more difficult poli-
cies," Wolz said. "It's his last
four years, and I think he can
be a little more bold."
Speaking from Ann Arbor,
LSA senior Dana Rollison said
she was excited to hear Obama
speak at length about sustain-
ability issues. Obama's larg-
est environmental push - a
carbon cap and trade measure
that aimed to limit the output
of greenhouse gasses - was
stymied by a divided Senate in
"I know he can't get very
specific in an inauguration
speech ... but a lot of times he
has fantastic speeches and the
follow-through might get lost a
little bit," Rollison said. "Ifhe
follows through with what he
said in his speech, I will be the
happiest person in the world."
At the pre-inaugural Michi-
gan Congressional Open House
on Sunday, Rep. Sandy Levin
(D-Mich.) said student excite-
ment for the president, con-
trary to popular belief, is still
high. He also emphasized the
importance of University stu-
dents' support of Obama's re-
Levin said Obama's role in
keeping the student loan inter-
est rate from doubling did not
go unnoticed by the president's
-Daily News Editor
Peter Shahin contributed
reporting from Ann Arbor.
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