OPINION: Students should vote for Gov. Ron DeSantis

With Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attention to issues that largely affect students, USF students should look to him for the gubernatorial election. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/FLICKR

With the upcoming Nov. 8 midterm elections, students are buzzing to vote — students should be especially eager to vote for DeSantis.

Students can put their faith in DeSantis since he puts policies into place that positively affect universities, job opportunities, the environment and personal freedom.

DeSantis has served as governor since 2019 and is running again in the 2022 election. His top running opponent, Democratic nominee Charlie Crist, is a previous governor of Florida from the 2007-11 term.

While in office, DeSantis awarded $9 million to universities that were impacted by Hurricane Ian, according to an Oct. 25 Florida Politics article. Specifically, the awards go to health care, law enforcement, teaching and emergency management educational programs.

This allows students to have less financial stress while going to college.

He also approved $125 million of scholarships, student loan reimbursements and funding for nursing programs across the state, according to a May 6 news release from DeSantis.

He has proven his support of students by helping them achieve their goals. With DeSantis bringing some relief to financial burdens, students can focus on learning.

Unemployment rates have dropped significantly under DeSantis, sinking from a staggering 3.6% in August 2018 to a current 2.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Compared to other popular states, DeSantis has actively maintained job opportunities throughout COVID-19.

Currently, the New York unemployment rate for August stands at 4.7% and in California at 4.1%, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. This creates fewer jobs for individuals during a time of rising prices.

Thanks to the leadership of DeSantis, Floridians have the ability to work in order to pay their bills.

DeSantis also made strides in the environmental sphere, passing SB 1954 on May 12 which stood up for the coral reefs, coastlines and inland waterways of Florida. This bill invests $640 million into the ensured protection of the coastlines.

This bill also requires the Department of Environmental Protection to complete assessments of the waterways. By passing a bill that takes care of the environment, DeSantis showed he understands the value of the environment in Florida.

Despite these great qualities, DeSantis’ opponent has a few problems with him. 

Crist blames DeSantis for the increase in the cost of living in Florida even though rent is rising across the country, according to Vox.

“Rent prices spiked as more people entered the market,” according to a Sep. 14 Vox article.  The demand for housing exceeds the supply of houses, increasing rent.  

DeSantis being governor during a time when rent is increasing in America doesn’t mean it’s his fault, as correlation does not equal causation.  

“He’ll use his time as governor to fight for his extremist anti-freedom agenda,” Crist said in a  tweet when talking about DeSantis. Yet, DeSantis passed HB7 showing otherwise.

HB 7, also known as Individual Freedom, gives individuals the right to not conform to beliefs that are not theirs.

This bill “defines individual freedoms based on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights,” according to an April 22 news release.

DeSantis stands for citizens having the freedom of choice, especially in the school system. He recently passed the Parental Rights in Educationbill, allowing parents to have a say in how their children are educated.  

This bill specifically limits the discussion of LGBTQ+ topics in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms. However, some parents do not want their child being taught these topics in that age range.

Crist has also criticized DeSantis for being pro-life. Crist has an executive order on hand that would veto the 15-week abortion ban DeSantis put into place on July 1.

DeSantis believes unborn children have a voice and deserve rights too. Unborn children can feel pain and are fully formed, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, making them qualified for rights too. DeSantis chooses to stand up for those who cannot.

While running for governor in 2006, Crist was an outspoken Republican, according to the Tampa Bay Times, and changed his status to Democratic for this current election. While Crist was Republican, he was anti-abortion. Now, he is running for governor as pro-choice.

Throughout his political career, he has jumped back and forth from being anti-abortion and pro-choice, according to the Tampa Bay Times. This inconsistency makes his intentions as governor questionable.

DeSantis has shown he cares by actively creating policies for positive change in universities, jobs and the environment. DeSantis stands for freedom and values Floridians’ individual rights.  Students have the ability to shape the future. Choosing to vote for DeSantis shapes the future USF students need.

Click here to read why Opinion Co-Editor Marcelene Pilcher thinks you should vote for Charlie Crist on Nov. 8.