New York native trades the countryside for the international world

By: Danielle Korzhenyak

Alyson Chocianowski, a junior and political science major, grew up in LaGrange, New York. The rural area consists of farm animals and acres and acres of land, so Chocianowski was used to the countryside lifestyle. Moving to American University was a bit of an adjustment, however, and she found herself exploring new territory, particularly foreign relations. The way the United States is interacting with foreign countries is a concern for her. Chocianowski says she is particularly worried about President Donald Trump and his inflaming relationships with our current allies.

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“The Trump administration is really problematic. Our world is so interconnected that you can’t really have a very nationalistic point of view, where it’s very isolating. We’ve had treaties in place for so long that have economic impacts,” said Chocianowski.

She stresses upon the fact that the United States cannot be it’s own, sole provider, therefore we require the dependency upon other countries.

“The United States can’t provide everything for itself, so if we mess up our relationships with other countries, we’re kind of screwed,” said Chocianowski.

Chocianowski’s most important issue is financial security and student debt.  The looming debt cloud is an issue that plagues most college students once they exit college. With the price tag of college being very inflated, Chocianowski questions the way the university is spending the money.  

“Are we really spending our money in the smartest way possible? New York just moved to free tuition, so if my sister wants to go to school in New York, she could go for free,” said Chocianowski.

She believes in developing additional support for college students struggling with student loans and debt. One idea Chocianowski offered was implementing more loan forgiveness programs to decrease years of paying off debt.  

“I just think we need more support for people who graduate with debt. More loan forgiveness programs so people don’t have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a very long time,” said Chocianowski.

Currently, John Faso, Republican candidate, is New York’s representative. Although he has only been in office for two years, Chocianowski says she fears his views, as they are opposing hers. His voting record shows that he agrees with approximately 91% of the time with Trump’s policies, according to Chocianowski. Chocianowski said her preferred previous candidate is Chris Gibson. Gibson was a former officer of the US Army and served as the representative in New York’s 19th congressional district from 2011 to 2017. Though he is also a Republican, Gibson appeared much more bipartisan and Chocianowski had the opportunity to meet and talk with him.

“When I met him and had the chance to talk to him, you could just tell he had a very different attitude of doing more of what’s best for his constituents and not just following along with the party,” said Chocianowski.