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Bailey: Pete Buttigieg is a good choice for students

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 candidate’s 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 Pete Buttigieg’s policies on the environment, education and immigration. 



Pete Buttigieg has some interesting ideas when it comes to the environment.

As well as building a clean economy, investing in resilience and demonstrating leadership, Buttigieg’s environmental policy supports nuclear energy, which puts him in the minority among his liberal competitors. However, this could be a good thing — nuclear energy has the potential to be an effective stop-gap measure to get us past the use of coal and into the point where we’re using only renewable energy sources.

Mayor Pete also approves of a carbon tax. He stated, “The difference with my plan is that I propose that we rebate all of the revenue we collect right back out to the American people on a progressive basis so that low — and middle — income Americans are made more than whole.”

I believe that if students care about the environment, Buttigieg’s policy is one they can stand behind. Carbon taxes have a positive effect on lower emissions — and I’m all about redistributing the wealth.

Finally, Buttigieg wants to end oil and gas drilling on federal land and offshore drilling, which is music to my ears as a student that cares about the climate. It’s not the most aggressive plan out there — and more could definitely be done — but I like this plan since it deals with the some of the biggest immediate causes of emissions and pollution with corporations and offshore drilling.

Overall, I believe Buttigieg’s environmental plans would be a benefit to students. 


Buttigieg supports much broader funding of public schools at the federal level, which is a wonderful thing since schools across the nation need the money. According to Buttigieg’s plans, Title I schools will receive triple the funding. That’s absolutely huge in a lot of ways since good schools have positive effects on the communities they’re in.

Buttigieg also has a great plan for eliminating college debt. He proposes providing student debt relief in exchange for national service. I am excited about this plan, seeing as Buttigieg defines “national service” with hypothetical and broad groups such as a climate corps, a community health corps or an intergenerational service corps. I think this would give people leaving college valuable experience, as well as erase their student debt, and it would be a great benefit to our society as a whole.

Mayor Pete at a glance 

  • Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. 
  • He’s the youngest candidate for president at 38 years old
  • He’s the only candidate who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Finally, Mayor Pete agrees with most of the other candidates that teachers need to be paid more. This is specifically important for students at Colorado State University and really anyone in Colorado to pay attention to seeing as our teachers are paid pretty low in comparison to other states.


Overall, I believe Buttigieg’s educational plans would be a benefit to students. 


According to Pete for America, Buttigieg wants to create an easy path to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. Mayor Pete also wants to create a national office of new Americans, which would have many benefits for those coming to the United States. I stand by this policy because the current process of becoming a citizen is arguably extremely difficult and is hurting the lives of millions of people who already live here.

Mayor Pete also wants to create a slew of new visas that will help promote growth in the healthcare field. He also wants to end the Muslim ban and work to help resettle more refugees to the U.S., which I believe stands more by American principles than what our government is currently doing.

Something I really appreciate is that part of his immigration plan is focused on stopping human trafficking of people who are just trying to start a new life in America, which is a pretty big deal considering how plagued the U.S. is with this problem.

Overall, I believe Buttigieg’s immigration policies would be a benefit to students.

Although Buttigieg is not my first choice, I found all of his policies to be well thought out and coming from a place of care. He still isn’t the most experienced of the candidates for the nomination, but he’s young and has great ideas — I’m excited to see how he does.

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

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