President Obama delivers speech at U of M


Photos courtesy of Francesca Ciaramitaro.

By Olivia Asimakis and Dajai Chatman

“When the president has something to say, and he’s on your campus, I think it’s kind of a hard opportunity to pass up. It just seemed like a once in a lifetime experience.” North alumna Francesca Ciaramitaro said.

President Barack Obama visited the University of Michigan April 2 to speak to students about raising the national minimum wage and how it directly relates to them.

Francesca Ciaramitaro, current freshman at U of M, attended the president’s proposal.

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“The points he made revolved around having the loyalty of your employees and how it would increase productivity overall, and I think those are definitely valid reasons as to why it should be increased,” Ciaramitaro said. “He knows how important an education is, and he wants to make it affordable for us (students), so that was a really big thing. He talked about how education should be accessible to everybody.”

President Obama wants to increase the standard minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $10.10, and the Senate will be voting on a bill focused on raising it to that amount next week.

“How could you not want to hear what he has to say? It was was overall just a really amazing experience,” Ciaramitaro said. “Affording education should not be extremely stressful, and it’s great to work a job while you’re at school, so that’s like a situation a lot of us are in. You should be getting paid more for that, so he was really looking out for us. That’s why he chose to come to college to talk about it because it’s an issue that is directly related to us.”

President Obama’s charisma and ability to address this particular audience by using his personal life as an example proved effective.

“He also talked about how it would help women. He mentioned his daughters and how he doesn’t want them getting paid less than men to do the same job because it’s 2014,  not 1814 anymore,” Ciaramitaro said. “I think his message was really well received. I think he really knew his audience, as in he really knew who he was talking to. He knew what to say to get certain reactions out of us.”