Terrance McLeod, Staff Writer
Last week, congressional candidate Dem. Julian Schreibman visited SUNY Oneonta as a part of his tour to see the educational programs of the SUNY schools in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions of New York State. His day consisted of traveling to SUNYs New Paltz, Cobleskill, Delhi and Oneonta.
Upon arriving at Oneonta, he started by thanking the college Democrats club of SUNY Oneonta for inviting him, and provided us with a background on his personal life. Schreibman comes from a typical lower-middle-class family; his father was a World War II veteran and his mother immigrated to the United States in the 1960s. He was the first in his family to go to college, and like the 70 percent of Oneonta students, he had to use financial aid in the form of loans to cover the costs.
Candidate Schreibman’s speech at SUNY Oneonta last week was short and to the point. He expressed how he “wants to invest in our country’s future, and there is no better way than investing in you guys right here,” indicating the sixty students that filled the room. He then began to take some shots at his opponent in the upcoming election, Rep. Chris Gibson, saying: “Congressman Gibson said publicly that the department of education is unnecessary and voted for the Paul Ryan budget that makes drastic cuts to education programs.” Congressman Gibson’s voting record on education has been consistently on the side of cutting funding rather than increasing it. Schreibman gave some statistics of what would happen to SUNY Oneonta if Gibson had his way, stating that SUNY Oneonta would lose more than $52,500 for their work-study programs, and that the 70 percent of students depending on federal loans and 27 percent of students depending on Pell Grants may not be able to continue their education.
Following his speech, there was a Q&A session where students asked candidate Schreibman questions ranging from being open to bipartisanship in order to accomplish more—he responded by saying he favors the Democratic agenda but is willing to be bipartisan—to his view on the job market for upcoming graduates and even a question on legalizing marijuana, which he made sure to say he is against.
Overall, student involvement in the Q&A session was high. It was clear that the students are concerned about what candidate Schreibman can bring to education as far as helping to keep costs down, to which Schreibman responded by saying he will fight for ensuring grants and keeping interest rates low.
He ended his time talking to students by thanking them for coming out and asking for students to volunteer with his campaign. Schreibman concluded by saying “SUNY Oneonta is a wonderful, beautiful place that has great programs,” and he was “very thrilled” to be able to see it.