The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College panel debates presidential progress

Photo by || Sarah Herrera || [email protected]

City College faculty, instructors and administrators sat at a patriotic red-clothed table and discussed the progress of President Barack Obama during his first year in office.

The Staff Resource Center hosted “Obamania,” a panel and discussion of Obama’s presidential progress, at the Student Center March 16.

Despite the many promises for social change the president made during his campaign, the economy, financial crisis, health care and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have put social issues on the back burner, the group concluded.

“He is only the 44th president that campaigned for change. So I think some of the things he talked about will take more than a year,” City College History Professor Dominic Cerri said.

Panelists agreed that Obama’s ability to follow through on his campaign promises hasn’t been impressive, largely because of unprecedented historic problems.

However, some panelists felt that there were other issues that were hindering Obama’s presidential accomplishments, such as partisanship.

City College employee Terry Sharon said any American can see what Obama is facing with partisanship.
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“”I am not a history teacher,” Sharon said. “I am a person who reads the paper all the time and what I read and what I see is things not happening because people refuse to work together.”

While some felt the partisan issues were hindering progress for change, others on the panel and in the audience felt that race was still an underlying and persistent issue challenging Obama.

City College computer science student Johnny Hampton expressed his perception of racial tolerance and change in the United States.

“Instead of saying that black people have overcome something, I think it has exposed that we haven’t overcome anything,” Hampton said. “He can’t even get anyone to work with him in his own government.”

Because of the many challenges the president has faced his first year, some of the panelists felt he was not getting enough credit from the American people. They said it would be fair to evaluate his progress again in a few years.

Others, such as history professor Stuart Graybill, expressed that his election alone was a huge step toward change in our country.

“Barack Obama’s mere election, regardless of what he might accomplish in terms of policy, will be and continues to be a huge symbolic change,” Graybill said.

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