The Washington Post

University of Maryland welcomes Obama to campus

Today President Obama will attend a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland to address the ongoing budget negotiations. We are honored to host the event , which underscores the fact that the next generation will shoulder the burden of the decisions made within the upcoming days.

It also tells us that young people have a key opportunity to go on the record about the decisions. Some of us have done so. This week more than 100 student body presidents representing more than 2 million students joined together in a coalition called “Do We Have a Deal Yet?” The coalition is dedicated to ensuring that our voices are heard and our concerns are represented by the government.

On a personal level, when I was in middle school, my family moved to the United States from New Zealand, where we had previously immigrated to from China. We uprooted ourselves in search of a country that offered more opportunities than anywhere else on Earth. Ultimately, that place was the United States.

What America has to offer is precious and rare, and I am fortunate to share in it. What our country has must be protected and fostered. As our country stares into the fiscal abyss, I feel a duty as a student to speak up.

Our generation faces long-term repercussions for decisions that are made now. Accessibility to higher education, our lives as working Americans and even our long-term future as retirees stand to change based on the decisions of a few in Washington, DC.

We understand that sacrifice must be shared, but that does not mean our future has to be sacrificed. As the generation that inherits the effects of the decisions made today, we strongly urge our leaders to be ambitious in their scope and open-minded in their negotiations.

President Obama, when you come to campus today, please make sure that you hear us. Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, please listen. We cannot afford to pass up this opportunity.

The time has come to craft a long-term solution that is bold, balanced and bipartisan. As a Chinese-born New Zealander and a permanent U.S. resident, I call on you to put aside partisanship, come together as Americans, and get it done.

Kaiyi Xie can be reached at


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