SCRANTON — Students, faculty, and members of the public gathered around the television at the DeNaples Center on the University of Scranton campus for President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Many students will soon be entering the work force and are concerned about the economy.
“I hope that he’ll address the issues that the middle class has to deal with and I hope that he’ll make the future look bright for all students, all of us that want to go out in the work place,” said junior Elisa Jiusto.
One of other issues students wanted to hear about is the president’s stand on stronger gun control laws.
“Gun control, that’s definitely a big thing, after the Newton, Connecticut shooting,” said junior Matthew Gentile. “I think that’s what Americans want to hear, what he has to say about that.”
The president also announced the withdrawal of some 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by this time next year, which would reduce those serving there by roughly half.
Political science professor Dr. William Parente says that was most likely a tough decision.
“Afghanistan and Iraq are, what I would call failed states, which is a classical political science term,” said Dr. Parente. “I don’t think they’re going to survive after we leave but there’s nothing we can do about it. We can stay another 10 years, have our people blown up and their people blown up. But I afraid it’s going to end in chaos.”
Students say the president does have his work cut out for him, getting Congress to work together and mostly getting the people in this country back to work.
“It would be nice if we can balance this budget and start reducing the deficit so we can start paying down the debt,” said junior Andrew Bodner.
The watch party was organized by the college’s political groups and the debate team.