Students want to see education, police reform from Biden

President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office have begun, and he’s got a lot to do. With the COVID-19 pandemic still devastating the country, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have laid out their plan “to beat COVID-19.”

But Biden can’t focus on the pandemic alone. Since Wednesday, the new president has signed executive orders dealing with immigration, the environment and even food stamps. Of course, everyone has their own ideas about what types of issues Biden should focus on in the following months, and college students have theirs too.

Police reform and higher education are issues that affect college students and that young people have been advocating for recently. In 2019 there were protests on college campuses all over the country in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement. And college students have wanted expensive college tuition and student loans fixed since before the pandemic.

Ariana Brown, a senior speech language pathology major, wants Biden to focus on student loan relief in any type of way. She said that whether he gives complete loan forgiveness or not, something needs to be done.

Brown also said she doesn’t know exactly what Biden should do regarding police violence, but that “the rate at which people are dying by police hands is alarming.”

Haley Wiley, a freshman art major, shares Brown’s hope for police reform and “changes to the corrupt criminal justice system.”

And as for students, she said there needs to be extensive change not only in the higher education system, but at the grade school level as well.

On Biden’s first day in office, the White House released a statement that the Education Department has extended the suspension on federal student loan payments. The pause will last through Sept. 1.

“[Students] should not be forced to choose between paying their student loans and putting food on the table,” the Education Dept. said.

As of last week, there were no executive orders signed by Biden concerning police reform.