Local News Coverage on a National Issue

In case you aren’t in Harrisonburg, the following story was run by local news station WHSV 3 on June 27, 2011 about Pat Watral‘s involvement in the #DoWeHaveADealYet campaign as well as the conference call he participated in with President Obama and White House leaders. There is also a video link of the story you can find here.

As the debt debate continues in Washington, concern is rising for folks across the country who are worried about the consequences of default. At James Madison University, Student Government President Pat Watral is concerned about his student loans.

“Honestly, I first thought of myself and my brother’s student loans that we’re taking out just to attend college, and God forbid that something doesn’t happen, and the interest rates on our loans skyrocket. That would be disastrous for our whole family,” says Watral.

It’s likely intrest would skyrocket if a deal isn’t reached in time, so Watral teamed up with other SGA presidents to take their concerns straight to the top in a conference call with President Obama. The message was sympathetic because the SGA presidents understand that democracy isn’t always a fast process.

“We elect people because we want them to lead. We don’t want them to talk to us forever and ever and ever when we literally have a ticking clock,” says Watral.

It’s not just student loans, Watral is also worried about the loans taken by the university for construction projects. He says he thinks Obama took their non-partisan message to heart. The President thanked them for speaking up for what they cared about.

“By all of us student body presidents standing up and being engaged, it definitely caught their attention,” says Watral.

Special thanks to reporter Janelle Lilley for taking an interest in the effort.

© Copyright 2011 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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