Presidential Election and Community Colleges

This morning, we had a presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich of Ohio on campus. It was a standing room only event with over 500 individuals in attendance. This is the largest single political event we have had on campus in my almost three years here. It takes a significant amount of work to bring such events to fruition, and I would like to thank all those who made it a reality.

First, Rep. Jason Sheppard and his aide, Jacob McLaughlin. Rep. Sheppard’s office initiated the contacts to bring Governor Kasich here. Second, Trustee, Joe Bellino, who was contacted by Sheppard for an appropriate venue to host Governor Kasich. Bellino then contacted me to book the La-Z-Boy Atrium.  Finally, as always, behind the scenes are our own Tom Ryder, Mary Lyons, Casey Watterworth, Josh Myers, and our stalwart maintenance crew who ensured that all the appropriate arrangements were made.

After meeting and listening to Governor Kasich, I was truly impressed. He was pleasant, amicable, amiable, down-to-earth, and humorous. I cannot think of any points he made with which I disagreed. I very much appreciated his very first comments, which focused on keeping college debt low by first attending community college prior to going to a four-year institution. Of course, he could do no wrong after that comment. He compared the cost of attending MCCC ($3,000 a year) to attending a four-year institution, which is in many instances, ten times that.  Come to think of it, I do not know any of the presidential candidates who have not embraced community colleges and the bargain that we provide in a day when college debt has exceeded credit card debt on the national level. Depending on who wins the elections, the attempt at “America’s College Promise” (Free Community College) will continue. We at MCCC do not have to wait for that, we have our own version. With our revamped Trustee Scholarships, MCCC can be free for many students. Throw in Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid and students can definitely attend MCCC for FREE. Wow, a life transforming and enriching experience at little or no cost! Incredible!

We are proud to have hosted Governor Kasich on our campus today to help us better inform, illuminate, edify, and educate our community. We wish him the best of luck in his presidential aspirations.

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