FIU students say what they really think about the professor running for the White House


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who moonlights as a professor at Florida International University (FIU), jumped into the 2016 presidential race on Monday.

Fusion went to the adjunct professor’s Miami campus to ask what students think about candidate Rubio.

Many who spoke with Fusion said they believe Rubio is too conservative on social issues to appeal to young voters.

“If he wants to gain the vote from the youth, he will have to be a little more liberal,” said Jose Garduño, 21, a biomedical engineering student.

However, other students felt his policies align with their views.

“I agree with his stance on family and abortion, and I think he would be a great candidate for our country,” said Grace Pastor, 22, a Spanish-language student.

Rubio joined the university in 2008 as a visiting professor, before his run for the U.S. Senate. As a senator, Rubio continued to co-teach classes on politics.

   Rubio and his co-professor, Dario Moreno, teach political science to their class at FIU (Photo credit: Charles Ommanney for the Washington Post).

“I really like teaching these kids because they come from where I came from,” Rubio told The Washington Post.

Rubio was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents. The 43-year-old senator received his own bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

The student body at FIU is about 60 percent Hispanic and the school is ranked one of the top granters of bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report.

For some, his heritage wasn’t enough to win their support.

“Even though he’s Hispanic, and I see that as a beneficial quality, I don’t think he has women in mind,” said Jennifer Lopez, 20, a political science student.

The new candidate highlighted his relative youth and appeal to a younger generation, during his announcement speech at Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida and continued on Twitter.

Youth wasn’t a positive quality for FIU student Edmunds Bernard, who worried about another first-term senator leading the country.

“We just came out of eight years of Obama and there’s been some tribulations there as well, and I think we need somebody with a lot more experience to steer us in the right direction,” said Bernard.

-Video shot by Joanna Suarez and Lauren Santa Cruz.

Geneva Sands is a Washington, D.C.-based producer/editor focused on national affairs and politics. Egg creams, Raleigh and pie are three of her favorite things.

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