Biden or Trump — choice divides students, too


Like voters across the country, Detroit Mercy students are divided about Tuesday’s election, with both Donald Trump and Joe Biden finding significant support on campus.

Ahmed Al-Hilali, a senior biology major, is among those with strong feelings.

“If you’re under 26 in college, you should not be voting for Trump,” he said.

Al-Hilali likes Biden’s plan to forgive student debt and make college cheaper.

He also dislikes Trump’s economic policy.

“Everything he has passed has benefited the (top) 1%,” he said.

But many students who support Trump herald the pre-Covid-19 economy and low unemployment.

“I am a Libertarian,” said Alex Matczak, a junior accounting major. “I am voting for who I feel is better for the economy, and that’s Trump.”

Matthew Hutnick, a junior majoring in developmental psychology, also cites the economy.

“I like President Trump because he has done so many great things for the economy like creating jobs, imposing tariffs and reducing unemployment,” said Hutnick, 20.

For Hutnick, that’s not the only reason.

“President Trump fights against abortion, fights to secure borders and has created peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

To nursing student Kali West, border control leads to job security for Americans.

“I agree with Trump based off of his immigrant control policies,” she said.

Twenty-one-year-old Kenneth Donaldson is studying political science and is a student government leader. 

While stating that Biden is not perfect, he supports the former vice president.

“I believe the Biden/Harris ticket gets this country closer to where it should be,” he said.

Donaldson said “adequate, affordable health care,” police brutality and a sustainable economic plan “are just a few of the policies we need and the Biden/Harris ticket brings to the table.”

Donaldson believes Trump has accomplished little.

“It has been four years and the only substantive policy we have seen are tax cuts that are causing a massive federal deficit,” he said. “The country is more divided and has been for years regarding racial issues and there has been a response that actively incited more division and violence.”

Some students criticize Trump’s plan to eliminate Obamacare.

Healthcare is an issue for Biden supporter Omar Ammoun, a biology major.

“I really support Biden’s healthcare plan as healthcare is extremely important to many people,” he said.

Biden’s plan includes building on Obamacare and expanding coverage to better accommodate low-income Americans.

“Trump is more interested in business than others,” Ammoun said. “He came as a businessman.”

Trump’s background adds to his appeal for Nicole Jandreski, 20, a junior studying criminal justice.

She fears Biden will raise taxes and harm her father’s business.

“The reason I support Trump this year even after all the media is because of what he has done for our economy and what he plans to do,” Jandreski said. “He was put through a tough decision during the pandemic which made him get hate, but I think he is the best presidential candidate.”

A dislike for one candidate or another also comes into play.

Nursing student West said, “Most of it is a dislike of Biden’s ideas rather than agreeing with Trump.”

Anja Peters, also a nursing major, felt no one won the first debate. “But I believe Biden gives a better image for America,” she said.

Hutnick said he views Biden as weak, where Donaldson is bothered by Trump’s coddling of authoritarians.

“He speaks highly of dictators and bad-faith actors on the international stage that are no friends of the United States, such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un,” he said.

The election is Tuesday.