Last Tuesday, President Obama addressed the nation in his fifth State of the Union speech since his inauguration in 2009. He laid out a set of ambitious goals for the future of our great country, as well as the concrete steps needed to take us there.

The President championed a long-overdue hourly minimum wage increase to $10.10, ordering an immediate pay raise for federal contractors and pushing Congress to quickly pass a similar measure for all American workers.

Recent Washington Post and Gallup polls have found that two-thirds and 76% of Americans, respectively, supported increasing the minimum wage. Obama’s position — that no American who works full-time should be forced to live below the poverty line — represents this widespread view.

In his speech, President Obama also took a staunch pro-education stance in the face of an austere Republican opposition. Calling for universal access to pre-school, the President gave the proverbial nod towards our children’s future. If America wants to remain the world’s premier superpower, we must start by cultivating superior brainpower in the classroom.

President Obama also encouraged Congress to break down the barriers that prevent poorer students from attending institutions of higher education. This message of equal opportunity illuminates UTSA’s core mission of becoming a top-tier institution accessible to underrepresented groups.

When analyzed point-by-point, it is clear that the President’s State of the Union address exemplifies the voice of both college students and young people everywhere. Many students, who work in minimum wage positions, depend on the strength of our nation’s infrastructure of opportunity — one in which UTSA plays a crucial role.

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a renowned institution that serves a diverse array of people, would greatly benefit from all of the President’s policy proposals. It is with this in mind that I believe we, as a student body, should rally around President Obama’s message of educational and economic progress.

Danny Khalil is a senior studying political science and anthropology. He serves as the National Membership Director for College Democrats, UTSA’s first elected officer in the organization. He can be reached at misterkhalil@gmail.com.

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