Tonawanda News

Obama visits WNY

August 22, 2013

Youthful crowd embraces college reform agenda

(Continued)

AMHERST —

“It’s a big deal to us at this time,” she said.

Matthew Nadler, a senior political science major and an academic senate representative in the Niagara University Student Government Association, said he jumped at the opportunity to hear Obama speak as soon as he was offered a ticket.

“I was overwhelmed with the opportunity just to go hear him speak,” Nadler said. 

Though a self-identified libertarian, Nadler said the president's message resonated with college students.

"I liked his ideas he was talking about, like holding the schools accountable (through rankings)," he said. "I liked hearing about how students shouldn't have to pay more than 10 percent of their income on student loans. I enjoyed the experience and am very happy I had the opportunity to go."

Nicolia was also impressed with the message Obama delivered, adding the way he not only addressed the problems but also gave solutions was refreshing.

"I like that he wasn't negative," she said. "He addressed the problems we have and said what we need to do to in the future.

Afterward, the crowd buzzed as Obama shook hands and kissed a baby on his way back to his bus.

James Battle, a sophomore communications major at the University at Buffalo, joked with a group of fellow students as they exited the arena.

Battle said he found the president's speech compelling and felt that, being that he is not eligible for another term in office, it was clear that he was not campaigning.

"You could tell this was genuine," he said. "It's not just so that we would vote for him. I thought that meant a lot."

Battle, who supports some of the Obama administration's policies but has doubts about others, uses federal student loans to help pay for his tuition. The president's plan makes him more confident that the decision to attend college will pay off, he said.

Text Only
Obama visits WNY
  • 130822 Obama 6 crop.jpg Obama seeks 'better bargain' for college

    In a return visit to Western New York, president outlines some sweeping changes to student loans and higher education funding from the stage at UB's Alumni Arena.

    August 22, 2013 2 Photos

  • 130822 obama 7.jpg Youthful crowd embraces college reform agenda

    Roaring their approval when a video screen showed Air Force One landing in Cheektowaga — and again when Obama bounded on stage — those in attendance offered the nation's commander-in-chief a hearty Western New York welcome.

    August 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • 130822 obama protesters 1.jpg For protesters, Obama visit is a chance to be heard

    President Obama's second visit to Western New York since taking office drew thousands to the University at Buffalo's north campus. Though not everyone gathered on UB's campus was there to hear the president speak. Some were there to have their own voices heard.

    August 22, 2013 2 Photos

  • 130821 obama visit 1.jpg Obama to visit region today

    Obama to visit WNY today for national address on higher education reform

    August 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • College costs are on the rise

    August 22, 2013

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