Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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August 23, 2013

Dyster, Obama talk Falls' Live NF program as enthusiastic crowd takes in president's plan

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — "I like that he wasn't negative," she said. "He addressed the problems we have and said what we need to do to in the future.

"I also thought he was very motivational when he spoke. It was empowering ... the way he talked about the sacrifices we need to be making. It is expensive, but it's something that's going to pay off in the long run."

Inside the packed arena the crowd was definitely motivated. The mood was jovial with the crowd erupting in cheers as Obama was announced. People hooted and hollered throughout the president's speech, in which he outlined a plan to get ballooning student debt under control.

Afterward, the crowd buzzed as Obama shook hands and kissed a baby on his way back to his bus.

James Battle, a sophomore communications major at the University at Buffalo, joked with a group of fellow students as they exited the arena.

Battle said he found the president's speech compelling and felt that, being that he is not eligible for another term in office, it was clear that he was not campaigning.

"You could tell this was genuine," he said. "It's not just so that we would vote for him. I thought that meant a lot."

Battle, who supports some of the Obama administration's policies but has doubts about others, uses federal student loans to help pay for his tuition. The president's plan makes him more confident that the decision to attend college will pay off, he said.

"Most college students, one of their biggest fears is being able to pay off their loans, especially if they borrow money," he said. "This is really reassuring."

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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