Last Wednesday evening, less than a week before the presidential election, the Quinnipiac Democrats and Quinnipiac Republicans went head-to-head in a debate highlighting the issues surrounding the election while almost 150 students listened eagerly.
This election was very important to the country and each organization felt that it was their job to help inform the students about the issues and the views that each candidate has.
Scott Stephanou, junior political science major and treasurer of the QU Democrats, participated in the debate.
“I feel that it is important that we have a healthy political discussions focusing on some major issues to help students to make a more informed vote,” Stephanou said.
“This is an extremely important election, and for many students, their first opportunity to vote. I do not think that there is a lot of political awareness on this campus so it is our job to help create some in the eve of the election.”
Matt Laconte, senior economics major and Republican debate participant, agreed.
“First I thought this campus was apathetic, but now I’m finding out people are much more involved,” Laconte said.
Michael Germano, senior marketing major, also argued for the Democrats. “I am excited that such a debate is possible here at Quinnipiac,” Germano said. “Any exchange of ideas and thoughts about political issues that can occur is a win-win situation.”
Sean Duffy, professor of political science and faculty advisor for the QU Republicans, served as the moderator of the debate, which was in similar format to that of the presidential debates.
“I think that this type of event is a great idea and have supported it fully,” Duffy said. “This gives students the chance to discuss issues with each other.”
“The initial idea of the debate was to sponsor and stimulate a discussion of issues.
I hope that this provides opportunities to get the issues out on the floor and to start conversations about them. Although many students already have their minds made up of who has their vote, this is still a chance to become more informed and comfortable with their decision.”
There were a total of 12 pre-arranged questions asked of the two the teams, with each side answering six. The issues included domestic, social, economic and foreign topics.
There were also four questions which were generated by the members of the audience that were answered as a part of the debate.
Some of the questions answered in regards to the above named topics were on the balanced budget amendment, the No Child Left Behind Act, stem cell research and the current healthcare conditions.
Because the fact game four of the World Series took place the same night did not keep everyone away. Junior Teresa Castro, political science major, said she was follows politics, but was still undecided.
“Tonight might make a difference,” Castro said.