A crowd of Franciscan students gathered in the atrium of the J.C. Williams Center Sunday night to watch another presidential debate, and share their thoughts and frustrations on the outcome of the debate.
The debate watch party was sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom on campus, and took place at the end of the voter’s drive.
Tommy Valentine, senior history major and YAF President, said, “I think it’s always good for people to know what’s going on in the world … I think it’s especially important that people vote, even if they don’t really like the presidential candidates … so it’s part of our mission to get the campus engaged in politics.”
The crowd of students who gathered for the debate watch party was smaller than the last, due to Parent’s weekend. There were about 150 students present.
Throughout the debate, there were many responses from the crowd, whether cheering or applause, or a general outburst over some remark made by Trump to Clinton.
While the debate was entertaining, many students shared they felt that the debate was more of an opportunity for childish arguments between candidates.
“I feel like it’s never really substantive,” said Therese Sanchez, senior humanities and Catholic culture major. “I feel like the debates are just an entertainment. It’s a chance to get at each other’s throats and get cheers from the crowds.”
Sanchez said, “You can learn some of their actual positions from the debates, but because they’re contentious by nature, they’re more prone to fights than information.”
Daniel Smith, senior political science and philosophy major, said he also saw the difference in tactics used for this debate.
“Secretary Clinton showed that she was a very strong, fierce debater … whereas with Donald Trump, we seem to get more division, more hatred, and more bigotry,” said Smith.
Jacob Konkolics, a junior theology and catechetics major, agreed: “(By) doing roundabout arguments, not answering the questions asked … and using the other opponents defaults to promote your propaganda, I think that’s a poor way on both sides to argue. I think you should be more adult about it.”
The last debate watch party is October 19, which will again be hosted by Young Americans for Freedom. YAF has also been working on voter registrations, and will have shuttles available for students to go to the polls on election day.