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Tech students take inquiring minds to gubernatorial debate

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Photos by Zyonna Harris and Desarae Scott

Story by Jamila Anthony

The first statewide Gubernatorial Debate was held at Lawrence North High School Sept. 27 with an audience of mostly high school students. The three men who are running to be Indiana’s next governor are John Gregg, a Democrat, Rex Bell, a Libertarian and Eric Holcomb, a Republican. John Gregg was a former House of Representatives of Indiana, and the former President at Vincennes University. Rex Bell started his very own contracting business in 1974. Eric Holcomb is the current lieutenant governor for Indiana. At the debate, two students from Arsenal Tech were chosen to ask the candidates questions.

Dagoberto Morales asked the first question: “ How committed are you to helping undocumented students and college students and should immigrants be qualified for in-state tuition rates at Indiana colleges and universities?”

Liberatarian Rex Bell said: “ All students deserve and it’s provided in the Constitution that all students should be provided with an education.” He also wants to conduct a tax plan to help the funding of education for those undocumented students and immigrants. Eric Holcomb responded, “ The topic has came up before the assembly before it’s not perceived as an attraction in recent years, happy to look at it and the status of the student but again I haven’t seen the desire in the general assembly.”

Democratic Governor Candidate John Gregg said, “ Immigration happens at the federal level, it’s tough for the state and it should be looked at case by case.”

Tech student Isaiah Gray also asked a question: “How will you expand jobs opportunities for the youth during the school year and during the summer especially from economically deprived areas?”

Republican Candidate for Governor Eric Holcomb, who is currently the Lieutenant Governor, said: :”Vast businesses that come to Indiana are looking for internships that will help shape the youth for the workforce and guidance counselors are valuable at this point in time.

Gregg said that he read a book called “Talent” written from a native of Indiana Jamie Merisotis who says that we can create 300,000 living wages jobs but we have to have the talent. “When people graduate, I heard different superintendents say the want the 3E’s, they want them enrolled, employed, and enlisted,” Gregg said. Bell replied that schools need to work with local businesses that need employees. Businesses that can help train students for their chosen careers.

The education plan was the next topic for the three governors. Rex Bell wants to offer a solution to turn things back to the students, parents, and teachers. Eric Holcomb wants to grow the economy. John Gregg thinks it’s best to stop teaching to the test.

“Let teachers teach the necessary lessons that they believe students can apply to life. Give locals control back and make college affordable,” Gregg said. “When my roof leaks, I fix it. I think we have a leaking roof in Indiana.”

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Tech students take inquiring minds to gubernatorial debate