HBCUs on Presidential Candidate Clinton’s Mind
By Delvakio Brown
Meter Staff Writer
Hundreds lined up outside of Fisk University’s Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium awaiting the arrival of Hillary Clinton. Slowly but surely the crowd moved through security into the gymnasium waiting to hear what presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had to say. The crowd was so big that an estimated two hundred people waited outside because the gym reached capacity. Tennessee United States Congressman Jim Cooper introduced Clinton and quickly announced his support by telling the crowd that she will be the first female president. He feels as if no one else is fit for the job like Hillary.
“Gender aside, there is no one with more experience and more qualifications for the job than Hillary Clinton,” stated Representative Cooper.
Newly elected Mayor Megan Barry says she feels as if Hillary Clinton gets it.
“She is someone who knows how important it is that cities are critical to our nation’s economy, and how important it is for our cities and governments to work together,” stated Barry.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke on many issues but made sure that her concern for college and historical black colleges and universities captured everyone’s attention.
Clinton asked the question, “How many of you here have student debt?”
Hands went up in the air all over the gymnasium, and Clinton began addressing her concern on college.
“We have to make college affordable again. I want you to be able to refinance your debt, get interest rates down, have a definite period when you no longer have to keep paying off the past,” stated Clinton. She went on to talk about how she wants to make community college free, make tuition debt free, and help Historical Black Colleges and Universities. “I have a special program to put more money into Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Universities like Fisk and others in our country produce more black professionals, more doctors, more lawyers, more business leaders, and we want to do more for you to keep doing that,” stated Clinton.
Tennessee State University Junior Joshua Cooper thinks the fund to help HBCU’s is great.
“HBCU’s are looked upon in society as something that doesn’t have the amount of potential that it does. Her funding HBCU’s shows that she cares about the development of not only African Americans but the foreign students we do have at our school,” stated Cooper.
Right behind Clinton was a group of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College students with signs and posters cheering her on. Two of those students were Mr. and Miss Fisk University.
“A point that really stood out to me was how she took the time to talk about voting rights,” stated Miss Fisk University Bella Umontuen. This issue is important to her because Fisk students have actually filed legislation against the state of Tennessee for their voting rights laws which currently restrict college students from using their state I.D. if it’s out of state.
Mr. Fisk University, Onaijh Porter, likes the fact that “Black Lives Matter” was brought up in Clinton’s speech. “I’m excited to know that a lot of the important issues that our community is facing are a part of her agenda like gun violence, equal rights, and ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The fact that she even acknowledged ‘Black Lives Matter’ shows that her agenda is focused on important issues.”
Hillary Clinton closed out by stating that she will be back to work with Mayor Megan Barry to try to turn Tennessee blue. Tennessee is one of a few states that will vote on March 1st 2016 in the primary.