by Greyson Van Arsdale, ’17

As President Barack Obama’s administration is ending, it is time to reflect on the accomplishments and struggles of his time in office.

My personal belief is that the mark of a good President is leaving the country more stable, secure and hopeful than before his or her term.

Barack Obama began his first year in office in 2009 by receiving a Nobel Peace Prize for strengthening international diplomacy.

President Obama also inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression – the housing market crash of 2008. While the crisis was largely handled by the Bush administration, Obama was responsible for the cleanup and for improving the economy afterwards. Obama’s administration has also seen steady job creation.

2010 saw the beginning of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. By 2016, Obamacare and Medicaid expansions have led to about 20 million people more becoming insured.

One of very few complaints I have is that Obama did not close Guantanamo Bay, and I don’t believe he adequately dealt with the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Guantanamo in particular, as Obama had 8 years to complete a task that he promised would be done in his first 100 days.

But given all the problems Obama’s administration struggled with, including rampant racism, birtherism and disrespect for the office of the Presidency,  I am not surprised that a few important tasks still remain on the to-do list.

My belief is that President Barack Obama has left behind a legacy that I hope will continue – a legacy of inclusion and cooperation.

Barack Obama ran his original campaign on the foundation of hope and change, and it is my sincere wish that the next President of the United States follows his lead.