Whitmer vs. Dixon

Students at the University of Detroit Mercy say abortion, inflation, education and religious freedom are among the most important issues in the upcoming election to determine Michigan’s next governor.

Republican Tudor Dixon, who has never held office, is looking to unseat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat. Early voting in Michigan has already started and election day is next Tuesday, Nov. 8.

“I think the biggest issue this year is abortion,” said Kaitlin Murray, a Senior Biology major. “I think that it is important for women to have the right to abortion.”

The issue has been a major topic of conversation in the U.S. since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade this past summer, eliminating a constitutional right that had been in effect for over 50 years.

Whitmer supports a woman’s right to choose while Dixon says she supports a total ban on abortion with no exceptions for incest, rape or the health of the mother. Michigan voters this fall are also voting on Proposal 3, which would amend the state constitution to make reproduc– tive freedom a fundamental right.

Nabata Abubaker, a junior Health Service Administration major, also thinks abortion is the biggest issue in the election. She said she’s against the practice “but when it’s necessary for a mother’s life…I am with it,” she said.

Both Murray and Abubaker say they plan to vote for Whitmer.

Ryan Schawb, a fifth-year senior in the Nursing program, says inflation is the biggest issue for him. Prices on everything from grocer- ies to rent has skyrocketed in recent months as inflation has reached its highest level in decades.

Schawb says he plans to vote for Dixon and likes her plan to repeal the state income tax.

“I think it would make things a lot easier,” he said.

Josiah Burr, a sophomore Engineering major, also plans to vote for Dixon because he doesn’t believe Whitmer has done much to combat rising prices. He also said he liked Dixon’s plan to repeal the state income tax.

Other students say they appreciate Whitmer’s demeanor.

Vanessa Quiroz, a senior Nursing student, said she’s not worried about Whitmer losing. She has been consistently ahead in polling, although the race has tightened in recent weeks.

“Throughout the years I have felt that she really cares for her people and her values align with mine as a woman,” Quiroz said. “When we hear her speak, she is caring, com– passionate and progressive.”

Noora Ahmed, a sophomore Nursing student, said she appreciates Whitmer’s record the past four years. “She has created a lot of jobs, made the largest investment in the state’s education system and progressed job training, and did all of that without raising taxes,” Ahmed said.

Yamamah Ahmed, a freshman Biology major, said she’s looking at which candidate is most “fit” to lead.

Ahmed doesn’t believe Dixon is fit because she has criticized the religious views of Muslims, specifically women who choose to wear the hijab.

“She criticized the Islamic hijab as an ‘oppressive garment,’” Ahmed said. “If you do not understand the meaning or concept of a hijab,” then you’re not a fit candidate.

“You can have an opinion,” Ahmed added, “But to criticize a religion that is followed by a substan- tial portion of Michigan’s residents is not acceptable.”