After his election to the presidency in 2008, President Barack Obama promoted an overarching policy of social change and, reflecting on this past presidential term, we believe he has done just that. Gov. Mitt Romney, though, is tied to a conservative ideology that embraces immense spending cuts, a repeal of integral health care as well as educational services and a platform that is not properly aligned with what our country needs. It is important to reflect on the record of President Obama in his first term in office.

President Obama has made it a foremost priority to enforce policies in his term that best reflect the social interests of our country, including furthering the cause for women's rights. He championed the enforcement of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law geared to bridge the pay gap between women and men in the workforce.

The President has also pledged to maintain the funding of Planned Parenthood. We would like to distinguish this institution as an organization that does not only provide access to abortions but also lends resources for sexual education, especially to lower- and middle-class communities. Gov. Romney, meanwhile, would cut federal funding for the distribution of these contraceptives, and as a result, limit an essential service to millions of families dependent on this service.

President Obama has also made noticeable progress in enfranchising the practices of same-sex couples. His administration made an active effort in repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, an act that limited homosexuals' involvement in the military. He also has actively lobbied to undermine the Defense of Marriage Act, a policy that has directly inhibited the rights of gay and lesbian couples-even in states that sanction same-sex marriages. With the election of Gov. Romney, and the likely prospects of a Supreme Court appointment, landmark social reforms such as Roe v. Wade would be in jeopardy of being overturned.

While economic progress has been slow and much of the country has been discontented with this halting measure of change, President Obama has spearedheaded an economic turnaround since his inauguration in 2009. His $840-billion stimulus bill created 2.5 million jobs and reduced unemployment to below eight percent.

We commend, however, the platform that Obama has upheld in regard to student aid. He has consistently advocated for extending Pell Grants and other government-sponsored loans to lower-income students.

Gov. Romney, though, has said he would cut these loans and raise interest rates to balance the budget, initiatives that would limit students' ability to attend institutions such as ours.
President Obama, through passing the American Affordable Care Act in 2010, achieved the most sweeping universal health care reform since Medicaid and Medicare were enacted.

This reform has provided students with the ability to remain under the coverage of their parents' health plans until age 26, an instrumental provision in light of the challenges inherent in the job market. Finally, starting in 2014, insurance companies will have to accept all applicants, diverging from the alienating policy of preexisting conditions.

For the aforementioned reasons, we endorse President Obama for a second term as president of the United States.