Tuition, war, health care concerns at W. Chester University

The Inquirer's Art Carey reports: 

9:25 a.m. Three female students were discussing the election over breakfast this morning in Lawrence Hall at West Chester University. Each is an 18-year-old African American freshman from Yeadon. 

Alicia Benjamin wore a "Be the Change" Obama button, while Daniell Smith-Brown wore four Obama buttons. Her roommate, Danica Harris, said Smith-Brown had a serious Obama infatuation, plastering their door with Barack-obilia.

This election is very important for college students who are struggling with tuition and financial aid, said Benjamin, who's majoring in early childhood education. She also said of Obama: "He's not fully black. He's kind of African American. But he's the first black major party candidate."

"It's important to bring the troops home," said Smith-Brown, whose older brother is in the Army and will be heading for Iraq soon. She doesn't expect a quick end to the war, however. "It's not going to be a sudden change. It's going to take years," she said. But getting out would probably take much longer under McCain, she said. She admitted to having a crush on Obama. "I will literally cry, if he doesn't win," she said. 

Harris, whose father has throat cancer, likes Obama's health care policies. "He will help families with low incomes and health care problems," said the potential nursing major. She has her sights on becoming the first of her siblings to graduate from college, and hopes the government does more to help pay for her education, because her family cannot. "If he's elected, he will help me achieve my goal," Harris said.

Click here for's politics page.