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September 19, 2016

Clinton tries to connect with young voters during rally at Temple University

With just 50 days till the presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton visited Temple University on Monday to talk about her plans to make college more affordable, support working families and push back against what she called her Republican opponent Donald Trump's "hate." 

Clinton's visit comes as the New York Times reports that support for Clinton has recently dropped among voters younger than 30. 

Yet, at about noon on Monday, as Clinton stepped onstage before about 250 people at Temple University's Mitten Hall, if her support had dipped amongst young people, you couldn't tell. 

Supporters seemed to hang on Clinton's every word — with a noticeable silence as she spoke about some of the women who have made an impact on her life. 

A central theme of her approximately 45-minute-long address – to an audience comprised mostly of college students– was making higher education affordable. 

"Getting an education should give you a boost, not hold you back," she said of combatting raising college tuition. 

According to Clinton, she's been working with Vermont senator — and former presidential candidate — Bernie Sanders on a plan to "make public college free for working families and debt-free for everyone." Also, she said, the plan would help those already struggling with repaying college loans. 

"So, you're never on the hook for more than you can afford," she said. 

"I thought this was pretty cool," said Temple freshman Juliette Comfer, 18, said after the rally. "I think it was pretty pertinent to my life." 

She said she appreciated Clinton's plan for tuition-free college. 

Maggie Lavelle, 18, another Temple student, agreed. 

"She was talking about things that matter to us," she said. 

"What she said about 'the next 50 days shaping the next 50 years,' that really resonated with me. Because, that's going to be my next 50 years."– Rachel Pomerantz, 19, Penn student

Clinton also touched on social justice, saying too many black women and men "are made to feel like their lives are disposable" and immigration, saying it needs to be addressed to keep families from being broken apart. She also said that far too many sex assaults occur on college campuses and military bases. 

"All these challenges are intersecting and we must work on them together," said Clinton.

Caley Gowen, 18, a Temple student, said Clinton's efforts to create universal healthcare resonated with her, because she uses Obamacare as her health provider. 

"[Clinton] seems to really care about the issues that affect us," she said. "Universal healthcare is something I know I've benefited from." 

"And she stands for social justice," interrupted Holly Rubinson, 18, a fellow Temple student. Social justice is "what America is all about," she said. 

"I think everything she said was lies." – Temple student Allison Callahan, on Hillary Clinton's speech Monday

Both women said they intended to vote for Clinton before they arrived to the rally on Monday. 

"What she said about 'the next 50 days shaping the next 50 years,' that really resonated with me. Because, that's going to be my next 50 years," said Rachel Pomerantz, 19, a University of Pennsylvania student. "I think she was just amazing."

Clinton also used her return to Philadelphia to attack Trump, saying he has "a long history of racial discrimination at his businesses."

"We have to stop this hate, we can't let it go on," said Clinton of Trump's rhetoric. 

At the end of her remarks, Clinton pushed members of the audience to vote and to tell their friends to vote. She said that right now it's a "close" race and asked voters to compare both candidates' ideas to make a clear, intelligent decision on who they want to vote for in November. 

"No one will work harder to make your life better than I will," Clinton promised. 

But Temple students Abigail Moore and Allison Callahan, both 18, said their decision come Nov. 8 was a little less clear on Monday, even after seeing Clinton speak at their school. 

Both liked a lot of the ideas Clinton presented, but they said they didn't believe they were achievable. 

"I thought a lot of that was not reachable," said Callahan. "I like the idea of free college tuition, but it's just unbelievable." 

While Callahan said that she still had some thinking to do before the election, Moore was much more clear. Though not a Trump supporter, but she said she wouldn't be voting for Clinton. 

"I think everything she said was lies," said Moore.