A handful of Regent University Robertson School of Government (RSG) students are adding-up signatures to raise awareness of a debt that is quickly adding up. Eighteen trillion and counting, the national debt is not getting smaller. They would like this to change, and are competing with other university students to raise awareness.
“Our competition is called ‘Up-to-Us.’ It’s through the Clinton Global Initiative, it’s bipartisan, and we are working on raising student awareness about the national debt and how it affects them,” said Juliana Melton, RSG ’15. “Today is our main event and we’re hoping to get lots of students here to join us and sign our petition on Facebook. That’s one of the things they’re grading us on in this competition, is how many people can sign our petition.”
The petition is open until 12:00 a.m. (PST), Feb. 20. There’s a link to it on Regent’s Up-To-Us Facebook page to take the pledge at itsuptous.org/pledge. A team of Regent students are urging everyone they can to sign the pledge on behalf of team Regent. It is one component of a national competition to raise awareness. If the team finishes first, Regent may be recognized by President Bill Clinton. Right now, the school is in sixth place.
“We want to show our elected officials that students do care and that we want them to balance our budget and do something about it, that we just can’t keep going at the pace we are going. It’s just not sustainable,” said Melton.
The students invited guest speakers to explain the situation, talk about national security concerns brought on by the debt and what must be done about it. The guests took-on students’ questions in Robertson Hall as part of “My Two Cents” day. Regent is one of four dozen colleges and universities that held such an event. Panelists included a senior vice president and bank manager with 21 years of financial experience, a retired U.S. Navy Admiral, and Regent’s School of Business and Leadership’s professor Doctor Gary Oster.
“The debt is extremely important to students, mainly because it will affect every single economic decision they make in their lives,” said Oster. “All of them, in one way or another, will be affected by the debt.”
“We definitely have a wonderful campus and a great background and history and heritage being a conservative school, but since this is a bipartisan, non political issue, national debt affects everybody, so we hope to do just as well as the other schools we’re competing against,” said Melton.