Support for Romney is visible on John Carroll campus
On Nov. 6, students on John Carroll’s campus will join the rest of the country in voting for the next president of the United States. For weeks, students have been seen around campus hustling to class wearing their candidates’ pins, shirts and hats. There is visible support for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Kara Naylon, a John Carroll senior who is involved with the campus Conservative Club, strolls through campus wearing her bright red “Romney for President” t-shirt. When asked if she thinks she would be as comfortable doing so at another school she replied, “I think John Carroll’s campus is unique in that we are all very understanding of each other’s views whether it be pro-Obama or pro-Romney. I am not afraid to show my support for Romney, whether it would be here or at another school.”
Four years ago, 24 million American youth voted, two-thirds of them in favor of Barack Obama, according to the New York Times. Four years later, the favoritism is not so apparent on John Carroll’s campus.
A predominantly conservative community, John Carroll is a striking contrast to many other liberal arts schools around the nation. Jenn Holton, a recent graduate who ran the JCU Conservative Club from 2011-2012, said, ”I think it is clear to the average person that Obama has not given us proof that he deserves four more years. A lot of Americans have looked at his record and decided that the economy has not recovered, we are not out of a recession, and Obama is only going to burden the country with more debt.”
However, John Carroll’s campus is only a small portion of population of the Heights. On Oct. 3, Nighttown, a nightclub in Cleveland Heights, held its first ever “Presidential Debate Night Party.” The jovial event was held in a packed room full of excited residents, as well as journalists, who were eating, talking and sipping on candidate-themed cocktails before the debate. As the two candidates appeared on screen, it became apparent who was the favorite. Cheers could be heard around the room for Obama, and when Gov. Romney appeared on screen, sounds of hisses filled the air.
Holton said she became a Romney campaigner in August after returning home from the Republican National Convention in Tampa. She contacted the Romney Victory center in her hometown of Westlake, Ohio, only a few miles from John Carroll’s campus. When asked what she feels is the most important issue for John Carroll students, she responded, “The economy, hands down. President Obama is weakening the economic strength of the United States by increasing our deficits and national debt. Romney will immediately tackle our economic battle.”
This year, John Carroll’s Conservatives are a small club with about a dozen members. They all strongly believe in Romney and his leadership, Naylon said. “We really feel Romney would be a great leader and could take America in the right direction.”
Holton said Romney’s business background would be one of his many strengths as president. A Harvard Business School graduate, Romney helped his investment company, Bain Capital, make millions of dollars. Holton and Naylon said they believe this ability will transfer over into his presidency.
“His record goes to show that he knows what it takes to create a full-blown economic recovery. He has experience with creating jobs, turning profits and avoiding deficits,” Holton said.
For Holton and Naylon, along with other recent and upcoming college graduates, the unemployment rate is an ongoing source of stress and fear. “Even though the unemployment rate is now at 7.8 percent, it was above 8 percent for almost three years. As a recent college grad, I need a president who will create jobs, and not just spend money,” Holton said.
Naylon mentioned Romney’s plan to create 12 million new jobs for the American people by his policy platform for job creation.
Romney has had many critics throughout his campaign. Holton said this is because he is a successful, rich, white man. Naylon said Romney has struggled with his image throughout his campaign, and it has hurt him with many voters.
For example, they said, Romney came under attack for a speech to a small group of supporters in which he criticized the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay income taxes. This made Romney look like an elitist to many people, Holton said, but she had a different view on the fiasco.
“If you actually listen to what he was saying, he clearly wasn't betraying 47 percent of the American people. He simply said he just knew he didn't have their votes because Obama already did.”
Even though many students on John Carroll’s campus may be leaning more towards the right than other universities, polls show the college vote is still very much up in the air.
Annie Cestra is a communication student at John Carroll University.