Bailey: Joe Biden is a good choice for students

Fynn Bailey

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

In the weeks leading up to Colorado’s primary, the opinion desk will be going head to head on individual candidates’ policy choices. We’ll be focusing on some of the issues we think will affect student lives and whether or not we think that individual candidate’s plan has what it takes. This week, two columnists are discussing Joe Biden’s policies on the environment, education and immigration. 



Former Vice President Biden’s plan is no more aggressive or innovative than those of the pack of Democrats. According to his website, Joe plans on leading the climate change fight “by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

Unlike some of his counterparts, Joe has the goal of an immediate and strong enforcement mechanism to help guarantee the continuation of a plan that would end years after he left office.

Former Vice President Biden’s plan hits all the basic points of every candidate’s plan. However, he has a strong focus on rebuilding America’s infrastructure, which has become a major need across all states. With better roads and bridges and more energy efficient buildings and electrical grids, our carbon emissions will fall, and the needed update in infrastructure will be relieved.

While his plan is not the most aggressive, it’s quite broad in what methods it will use to tackle the problem. He’s treating climate change as the important and complex issue it is. Overall, Joe’s plan for the environment would be beneficial for students who care about the planet, though not the best.


Education has been a past sore spot for Joe. In 1975, he told The People Paper that “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the Black man for 300 years, and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the Black man a head start or even hold the white man back to even the race.’ I don’t buy that.”

Now, his campaign page is a very different story. He actively talks about schools of color, how they need more help and the impact that teachers of color can have on these students. According to Vox, he wants to bring Advanced Placement classes and better pre-K to all schools and give all teachers a raise. Basically, Joe wants to throw money at the problem, and that could be what education needs.

I appreciate the direct acknowledgement of racial discrimination within education — it shows a lot of growth.

As for college debt, former Vice President Biden is notably not on the “erase it all” train. His plan focuses on having people who make less than $25,000 a year not have to pay until they make more, and people who make over that don’t have to pay more than 5% of their discretionary income every month toward federal student loans.

While this plan doesn’t remove the looming threat of debt, it does loosen the noose enough for students nationwide to breathe and start saving money for retirement and house payments. Joe also includes, similar to Pete Buttigieg, a service plan. This means that a year of national or community service work would delete $10,000 of debt for up to five years. A huge chunk of debt would be gone in exchange for a large portion of someone’s 20s.

Overall, Joe has a strong and progressive plan for public schools, which I love, but not an overly helpful college debt plan. Still, he is a good choice for students.



Joe has a strong immigration plan, which is more or less centered around being the opposite of President Donald Trump’s plan. Within the first 100 days, Joe wants to end Trump’s asylum polices, end prolonged detention, end public charge rule, end the “national emergency,” end the Muslim ban and protect the Dreamers, “undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.”

He then wants to get together with South American countries and Mexico to create a plan to solve the issues that are causing so many people to have to leave their home nations. He also wants to make getting visas easier and make becoming a citizen a possible path for all. He wants to make it much safer for undocumented workers to report workplace safety violations.

Generally, it’s a well thought out plan, and it covers a lot of ground with sweeping changes. I would say it’s not as beneficial as other candidates’ plans, but compared to what we have now, this one would benefit students.

Fynn Bailey can be reached at or on Twitter @FynnBailey.