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Campus Democrats host Holton

Anne+Holton%2C+former+Virginia+secretary+of+education%2C+led+a+discussion+in+Maucker+Union+on+Sept.+19.
Anne Holton, former Virginia secretary of education, led a discussion in Maucker Union on Sept. 19.

Anne Holton, former Virginia secretary of education, led a discussion in Maucker Union on Sept. 19.

IRIS FRASHER

IRIS FRASHER

Anne Holton, former Virginia secretary of education, led a discussion in Maucker Union on Sept. 19.

RACHEL KERGER, Staff Writer

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On Monday, Sept. 19, UNI welcomed Anne Holton, former Virginia secretary of education and wife of Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine. Holton took to the stage to participate in a discussion on education in the Hemisphere Lounge in Mauker Union, where there were approximately 40 to 50 people in attendance.

Including Holton, there were 11 people total in the discussion panel – four Cedar Falls school educators and six UNI students – who entered into a round table talk about the improvements that need to be made to the education system. The group also discussed what Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party presidential nominee, has in mind if she is elected president.

In the 40 minute conversation, several topics were covered. One topic that was disputed was the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes into arts programs.

One of the students in the discussion made note of the fact that as schools try and pull STEM classes through the ranks, classes such as history and the arts are getting shoved to the side. Holton said making the subjects more fluid would help tie all of the subjects together. As an example, Holton said she thought science would go smoother if there was music to help the concepts stay in tune.

Another topic that was brought to the forefront was how Bernie Sanders’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns have seemed to merge together. Holton mentioned how Sanders’s plans were applied to those of Clinton’s by planning to cut costs of higher education while not making it entirely free for everyone.

There was also a brief discussion on how Clinton plans to keep potential teachers attracted to school systems.

“Good teachers are the backbones to good schools and good education,” Holton said. “We need to make sure that we continue to entice people who will be good for the students of the future.”

Holton then directed the discussion by asking what all the teachers – and aspiring teachers – on the panel around her were interested in. The students said they wished to benefit from an income that could pay off student loans and ensure their futures. This, in turn, led to the topic of college debt.

The discussion from there circled around to those who might not get paid as much as teachers – such as nurses or secretaries – and the plans that Clinton might have for them. Holton made sure to praise these professions and said she thought that good health care should be provided to all Americans.

Holton wrapped up the discussion by saying that a plan similar to the one for keeping teachers interested in schools should be applied to nurses to keep them interested in as well.

After the discussion, Jackson Ave, president of the Northern Iowa Democrats, said all of the hard work they had put into this event had paid off.

“A big involvement with us – for this event – was making sure that students knew about [it],” Ave said. “That involved making phone calls to those who had showed interest in Democrats in the past. Further, we also tabled almost every single day leading up to the event to get them to come.”

Ave also noted that the Northern Iowa Democrats were thrilled that Holton could make an appearance due to her background in education.

Abby Shew, graduate student majoring in communication studies, said she thought the round table talk went well and hoped that the campaign was following in the same footsteps.

Panel member and sociology major Heather Applegate noted, “Even though I was a Bernie supporter […] I know that I still have a responsibility to vote wisely in the coming election.”

Ave echoed this sentiment, saying, “Hillary has the ability to make real change. The best way to make sure that Trump isn’t elected is to reach out and volunteer […] and make their voices heard. There is no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”

After the discussion, Holton said she really enjoyed it and thought she had gained several points that she could take back to Clinton on improving schools.

“I hope that everyone realized that the candidate that I’m working for is the best for […] education,” Holton said.

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Campus Democrats host Holton