Student leaders of Florida A&M University talked with Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida, Tuesday about education.
Crist, who is a Florida gubernatorial candidate, will face off against Gov. Rick Scott in November’s general election. He was pitching his plans for education to students and vying for their votes.
Following cheers and chants of ‘Charlie, Charlie’, Crist walked into the Student Senate Chambers and greeted a handful of students.
He lobbied students to vote for him, taking aim at Scott's $1.3 billion education and $300 million in university spending cuts his first year. Crist reminded students about scholarships that had been pulled from Florida students.
A question and answer session between students and Crist allowed the gubernatorial hopeful a chance to interact with the student body. Bobby Coston, a fourth-year social work student, urged students to vote for their own educational futures.
“It is imperative that us Rattlers go out and vote because Rick Scott raised tuition which indirectly caused student enrollment to drop,” Coston said.
Crist said that, while he was governor, he was “the guy who didn’t veto stuff for FAMU.” He also stressed how critical the black vote will be on Nov. 4. He argued that a higher black voter turnout might have blocked Scott's election.
Andre Bridges III, a fourth-year elementary education student, said black voters need to choose someone who support their interests.
“Today was very pivotal because we as black students at the first HBCU in Florida have to make sure we elect officials who truly care about the education of our students,” said Bridges, who serves as Mr. FAMU 2014- 2015.
Crist who is a self-described ‘optimist and happy warrior’ thinks targeting college students is important for his campaign because everyone should not have to go into debt to go to college. The deputy communications director of the Crist campaign, Carlie Waibel said, “His message is to connect with college students and let them know that he is running for them.”