Doug Owens vs. Mia Love


(Photos Courtesy of the Doug Owens Campaign and Wikipedia)

(Photos Courtesy of the Doug Owens Campaign and Wikipedia)
(Photos Courtesy of the Doug Owens Campaign and Wikipedia)

Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens are vying for the open 4th congressional district.
Many issues divide the two candidates, but student loans have forged a valley.
In the only televised debate between the two candidates, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Owens criticized Love for her previous statement about wanting to eliminate the Department of Education. Since then, the report stated, Love has backed away from the position. In an interview with The Daily Utah Chronicle, Love clarified her stance on government interaction with public education.
“I’ve never called for keeping government out of higher education,” Love said. “Our state government certainly can and should play a huge role in funding and running our state colleges and universities.”
On her official website, Love calls for this interaction between government and education to be more localized. Owens’ position is to maintain Utah’s share of national educational resources and utilize the funds to improve the education system.
In the debate, Owens also said Love wanted to do away with student loans and Pell Grants. Owens has taken a firm stance on keeping federal funding as a means to provide students the opportunity to get an education. On his official website, Owens states he wants to make obtaining a college education easier.
“I want to make college more accessible and affordable for Utah students,” Owens said. “Without student loans, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my college education. I strongly support federal student aid programs, which make the dream of college possible for nearly 80 percent of Utah students.”
Love said in the debate that her intentions were never to do away with student loans. In a separate interview, she said her stance was to change the system, not abolish it.
“I’m concerned that the unlimited flow of federal dollars into higher education has negatively impacted students in the form of skyrocketing tuition costs,” she said. “My goal is to support policies that will bring down the costs of tuition for students.”
Paola Ramirez, a freshman in psychology, said her concerns were about access to education if student loans were taken away.
“A lot of people attending the U are on student loans partly because it’s so difficult to pay for college straight up,” Ramirez said. “If student loans, were to go away, it would probably result in people being scared of the cost of education and avoiding the opportunity completely.”
Stephanie Logan, a senior in the physics teaching program, said she sees the issue is the tuition itself.
“I think the problem isn’t the loans, the problem is the cost,” Logan said. “You can’t take away the loans before you lower the cost because then it affects the people currently in the situation. The focus needs to shift to lowering the cost of education before we focus on the loans that are enabling people to go to school who wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
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