At a press conference this afternoon, GUSA President Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) stood with a handful of other student body presidents as they unveiled their letter to President Obama, imploring him and other leaders to reach a compromise on the debt ceiling debate and the country’s budget crisis.
Over 100 college and university student body presidents representing over 2 million students signed the letter. Similar letters will be hand delivered to members of Congress.
Meaney, who spearheaded the initiative along with other members of GUSA, explained that the idea to appeal to the country’s leadership was born out of a conversation during a bus ride about a week ago. The topic of discussion: the discrepancy between how our government ideally works and “the sorry state of the ongoing gridlock over the debt ceiling and deficit.”
“We asked ourselves: How come our leaders can’t seem to work together for the good of the country? Why do they seem to care more about the next election than the next generation?” he said. “Young people are often used as a political football, but we can’t afford to let others speak for us any longer.”
The letter [PDF] is an appeal for bipartisan collaboration that transcends party agendas, ideology, and promises. “We can’t pass up an opportunity to solve our problems because of pledges, partisanship, or pettiness,” Meaney said. He later denied any reference to the GOP’s Pledge to America, which was released before the 2010 elections and vowed to drastically reduce government spending.