INSIDE Important food allergies PAGE 2 Hidden Arts District gem PAGE 3 Playing with the Electoral Collage PAGE 6 Mustangs look ahead to UCF PAGE 5 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2012 FRIDAY High 86, Low 64 SATURDAY High 81, Low 55 VOLUME 98 ISSUE 34 FIRST COPY FREE, ADDITIONAL COPIES 50 CENTS POLITICS SIDNEY HOLLINGSWORTH/The Daily Campus President Obama and Gov. Christie met with Sandy victims Wednesday. Candidates prepare for home stretch SIDNEY HOLLINGSWORTH/The Daily Campus Kurt Eichenwald spoke to a group of SMU students as a part of the O’Neil Lecture series on Thursday in Umphrey Lee room 241. Celebrated author talks ‘500 Days’ MACKENZIE FERCH Contributing Writer firstname.lastname@example.org “Nobody has a monopoly on truth, and if we are so obsessed if we are so childish that we cannot try to hear things that we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with that don’t necessarily conform with what we want to believe then we are willfully making ourselves stupid.” Challenging audience members to both recognize and resist bias, Kurt Eichenwald explored more than his newest book, “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars,” during the 2012 William J. O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism, which took place in Umphrey Lee Center Thursday evening. “I always used to say everyone’s going to hate this book the reason everybody’s going to hate this book is because one of the things that I know from reporting is almost never — once you start digging into a story — does everything line up the way people want it to,” Eichenwald said. Weaving humor and personal anecdotes throughout his lecture, The New York Times best-selling author actively engaged audience members, igniting laughter among journalism students and professors alike, and ultimately encouraged them to realize that “we are experiencing the death of knowledge in this country.” The reason for this apparent death, according to Eichenwald, is that while one used to have to actually make an effort in order to know a fact, “now, facts are sliced and diced and twisted and presented the way you want to hear [them].” Eichenwald argued “we are being suckered into” this alleged “business model” — this “recognition that if we reinforce what people want to believe, they’ll keep coming back.” “If you are reading something that doesn’t agree with what you walk into thinking, don’t assume you don’t need to read it – in fact, in all probability, that’s what you need to read the most,” he said. Eichenwald identified bias not as opinion, but as “a refusal to look at fact,” and acknowledged biased readers as the greatest problem in the realm of journalism today. Thus, in composing “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars,” Eichenwald strived not to allow his desires to shape or override his information, and devoted six years to the investigation of a mere 500 days. He urged audience members to delve into the thick text, to read it in its entirety and to decipher what and whose “secrets” and “lies” — both of which he refers to in the title of the book – for themselves. “What’s my bias? Nothing, this is just how it comes out,” he said. EDUCATION Election will affect student loans, Pell Grants LEILA MUSTAFA Chief Copy Editor email@example.com The election is less than one week away, and whether the win goes to President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney, the election results will have an impact financial aid and student loans at American universities. However, college-aged voters might be more concerned with which candidate they believe will bring more jobs rather than improve their student loan plans. In 2010, Congress passed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which included increases to the Pell grant scholarship, eliminated the federal guaranteed student loan program, capped student loan repayment amounts and changed student loan forgiveness periods for those who qualified. The federal guaranteed student loan program subsidizes student loans issued through private lenders. The Obama administration suspects that shifting away from subsidies to private loans will save about $60 billion over the next 10 years. The act invests more than $40 billion in Pell grants and increases the maximum Pell Grant award from $5,500 to $5,975 by 2017. Romney would alter what Obama has planned significantly if elected. His education plan “A Chance for Every Child” states that Pell grant dollars should be refocused to students “that need them the most” and aims to tighten eligibility requirements for the grants. Romney believes his plan to grant subsidies to private lenders would bring private lenders back to make for a more efficient system. In his plan, Romney mentions that Obama’s plans could drive tuition to continually increase, especially given Obama’s plans to relieve graduates of repaying loans after a certain amount of time. The Department of Education statistics under the Obama administration has seen an inflation-adjusted 12 percent increase in tuition at public universities. In an analysis from March 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated the national student loan debt to be $870 billion. Although this number isn’t something to be ignored, other numbers may matter more to college voters. Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit-nonpartisan organization, estimated that 64 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 believe that the availability of full-time jobs is more important than lower student loan interest rates. The nonprofit also found that if the Sept. 2012 data about unemployment were adjusted for those who have never been employed before and seasonally hiring, the unemployment rate for those aged 18 to 29 would be 16.6 percent. College-aged voters will most likely not only focus on student loan plans, but also which candidate they believe can bring more employment opportunities. Elizabeth Dominguez, a senior mechanical engineering major, is voting for Obama. Dominguez works at a manufacturing plant, and said she believes that Obama would be able to produce more jobs for Americans specifically in manufacturing. She also said that his expansion of student loans and the money put into Pell grants are a large factor in her decision. Vanessa Garton, a junior advertising major and member of SMU College Republicans, believes that creating jobs is more important than lowering student loan interest rates. She has already voted for Romney, and also has problems with Obama’s Student Loan Forgiveness Act. “The main problem is that our country will have more debt than before, causing a raise in taxes which creates more problems,” Garton said. For some students the economy is the most important part, and student loans aren’t an issue in their decision. Max Hirsh, a junior finance major, is voting for Obama because he believes Obama should see his plans for the economy through. “He spent the last four years setting up what he’s going to accomplish in the next four years,” Hirsh said. No matter the reasons for voting and no matter who is elected, the candidate elected in November will bring changes to financial assistance in U.S. colleges. Advertisement KATELYN GOUGH News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org The 2012 presidential elections are only a weekend away, and both candidates are preparing their final push to sway voters before ballots are cast on Tuesday. With the series of debates ending only two weeks ago, both candidates are in the final part of their campaigns in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney have reached a final stretch during which they can do little other than watch what unfolds. “The election is very close,” Cal Jillson, a political science professor at SMU, said. “It still seems to be advantage Obama because he is leading in the swing states.” The fragile balance of advantage between the candidates is what causes the outcome of the election to lean one way, and ultimately shift at any time. Jillson explained that while Obama is expected to win the re-election, national polls still put Romney ahead one point. “That’s quite an advance for [Romney] the first debate brought his back to even,” Jillson said. After the close of the debates last week, voters had time to absorb and examine the opinions presented by each presidential candidate. Despite predictions for re-election, Jillson said Obama’s showing was not as strong as Romney’s showing. “Looking at the four debates together, they worked to Romney’s advantage,” he said. The presidential candidates sparred three of the four debates, and Jillson explained that the vice presidential debate was able to “stop the bleeding after Obama’s poor first debate performance.” “After that [VP debate] Obama came back and did better, narrowly winning the last two debates,” Jillson said. SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson, a colleague of Jillson, agreed that the debates gave Romney a needed boost, even if Obama made a comeback in the last two. “[The debates] are the reason that [Romney] has a chance to win on Tuesday,” Wilson said. However, when commenting on the most recent events of the last few days, Wilson said that Hurricane Sandy has actually been “a bit of a boost” to President Obama as he “gets to play the national unifier role.” Wilson explained that while Obama had the opportunity to “be seen taking care of people,” it could hurt Romney’s final chances. “Romney had to scale back the campaign and virtually go off the air for a few days,” Wilson said. Beyond questions surrounding FEMA and government responsibility in disaster response, Jillson explained that the question for voters now rests on whether they want to see continuation or change. “The big choice here is between whether to continue the Obama program from the first term or to turn policy back over the Republicans,” he said. Jillson said that Obama “has not been clear about his second term agenda” and explained “the reason for that is big budget deficits that have to be brought down.” Beyond America’s economy, the healthcare system has and will be at the forefront of voters’ minds at the polls. Jillson said that if Obama is awarded a second term, his reelection will solidify his healthcare reform. Romney winning the vote will lead to the opposite. “If Romney is, in fact, elected,” Jillson said, “he will try to take apart Obamacare and generally stop its implementation.” Junior Amelia Johns also shared her commentary in the days before the elections. She said that the debates solidified some of the choices she had made about both candidates, seeing the importance of being an educated voter and “fact-checking.” “I think it is in all of our best interests to know the facts before we make any definite decisions about either candidate,” Johns said. “That is being politically active.” Johns echoed the sentiment of manySMUpoliticalscienceprofessors and professionals across the country that youth voters are imperative to the future of the country. Aside from being “a total landmark in terms of women’s reproductive rights,” the 2012 elections hold significant importance in several other policies affecting individual rights. “For all of us, this election impacts our healthcare, our ability to pay for college and our access to true equality,” Johns said. Elections will take place Tuesday, Nov. 6.