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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Interview with Deval Patrick

Photo+Courtesy+of+UPI%0A

Photo Courtesy of UPI

With election day less than a week away, registered voters in the commonwealth of Massachusetts are considering who to pull the lever for on November 2nd as campaigns enter the final stretch of what has been a long and contentious campaign.

A recent Rasmussen poll on October 18th placed incumbent Governor Deval Patrick with a small lead of GOP challenger Charlie Baker 47% to 42%. Patrick’s lead in such polls has been consistent since March of this year, but did not increase with the recent visit of his close friend President Barack Obama.

On the UMass Boston campus, talk of the Gubernatorial race is rare, but discourse about the issues are all too common. With growing concerns about the economy, jobs, and health care, one of the more unifying issues surrounding this election is education–specifically public higher education. Students remember all too well the fee hike struggle they fought against last year, but realize that it still weighs heavily on their ability to continue and graduate from UMB, a campus where a majority of students receive some sort of educational aid funding.

In a telephone interview with the Mass Media and other student journalists from Boston area colleges and universities, Governor Patrick pledged to continue his commitment to higher education if given a second term.

“At UMass Boston, our campaign is committed to the institutions master plan, which in our eyes focus on affordable education opportunities for all residents of the commonwealth who intend to pursue one” Patrick said.

Citing a major contrast in budget proposals between the two campaigns, Patrick mentioned that UMass Boston and other public institutions would face a sever cut in funding under Baker’s control. “They are making false claims about an out of control budget, but in reality their plan calls for $2 billion worth of cuts, which would most directly affect education”.

Over the past four years the Patrick administration has used ‘rainy day’ funds in times of fiscal and financial crisis. Most recently, they were able to allocate federal stimulus dollars within the budget for higher education, replacing students dollars with federal dollars and hedging off a sudden increase in tuition costs. Patrick says students can expect more of such sound leadership if given a second term.