When students are on campus, it can be very easy to get caught up in day-to-day life. The world revolves around classes, work, homework, sports, clubs and grabbing a meal during breaks. Students tend to focus on a four-year plan advisers lay out at the beginning of their freshman year, and don’t look much further past the fourth year until the spring semester of their senior year. It’s easy to forget about the bigger picture and ignore topics like the election and the economy when there’s a paper due tomorrow morning. Most students don’t bother to follow how Wall Street is doing unless they are finance or business majors.
In recent months, with mortgage companies going bankrupt and the prices of everything going up, the economy has been in very bad shape. However, as long as students are still getting internships (even though they may not be paid anymore) the bigger picture continues to be ignored.
The effect that the economy has on students is more than just finding an internship or being able to get a job after graduation. Of course, these are a big deal after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a Rider education, but recently there has been a bigger development that can affect students while they are still at school. The credit crisis has caused Wachovia to put a hold on a fund that almost 1,000 colleges and universities have access to. These schools use the fund like a checking account, withdrawing money for payroll and small maintenance projects. However, now Wachovia has frozen part of the account, so schools can’t access the money they need in the immediate future.
Although Congress is working on a new $700 billion bailout bill that may possibly help many companies from ending up like Wachovia, the future is very uncertain. Also, to save these companies from going bankrupt, the government has been taking control of businesses like AIG, a move that has socialist undertones.
Rider hasn’t been impacted by the credit crisis yet — it already borrowed funds for the construction projects, and the West Village apartments will draw more students into staying on campus in the future, creating more revenue. However, the best-looking, newest apartments in the world won’t draw students who can’t get loans. As the economy worsens, more people are going to be unable to get the money they need and without this money they will be unable to attend school. Many families get home equity loans to pay for their children to go to school; however many homes have lost value, meaning owners can borrow less, which is another aspect of the economy that’s in trouble.
All of this may be overwhelming to students who already have a lot on their plates, but the easiest way to fix the economy is to stay informed. By taking 10 minutes everyday to read up on how Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama feel about different issues, and then voting on Nov. 4, students can make a huge difference on how the next few years play out. Even reading the faceoff on the opposite page, where each week one issue of the election is outlined by students with opposing views, can help students become more informed. By making an informed decision on election day, real steps can begin to take place to fix the unhealthy economy.
Written By Opinion Editor, Nadine Tester