Students watch Presidential candidates battle

By Alexa Low

“Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” Beto O’Rourke stated during the Democratic Presidential Debate.

Students from the Media and Politics class at Quincy University hosted a debate watch party for students in the Hawks Nest.

For some, this was the first time they have seen a political debate and for a few, this will be their first time voting for a president of the United States. The party helped students stay engaged in the debate while learning about each candidate.

“We’re the future of our country and it’s something that a lot of kids my age look past ya think it’s not really going to affect me but these guys are going to be in office for four years and by that time you’re going to be in your 30s and that stuff is going to affect you,” Zach Lamari said.

Ten presidential candidates qualified for the debate where they had the opportunity to inform the public their stances on issues while arguing against their opponents.

To qualify for the debate the candidates must:

  • register 1 percent or more in three polls between January 1 and two weeks before the debate.
  • have proof that their campaign received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 unique voters per state in at least 20 U.S. states.

The candidates were strategically placed in each position on the podiums depending on the predicted percentage of people voting for them.

This being said, the politicians were centered around the front runner, Joe Biden with all other candidates filling in around him.

Several politicians along with business men and women are running for president, however the ten that qualified for the debate are:

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Elizabeth Warren
  3. Bernie Sanders
  4. Kamala Harris
  5. Pete Buttigieg
  6. Cory Booker
  7. Andrew Yang
  8. Beto O’Rourke
  9. Julian Castro
  10. Amy Klobuchar

Food and drinks were provided along with interactive games such as bingo and “take a drink if..”

Students played along as they all took a drink of their water or pop as they crossed “someone took a jab at Joe” off of their worksheet.

Lamari wants his fellow classmates to make an informed opinion on who they are voting for in the upcoming election. “People tend to agree with their parents views and how they were raised and the area they were raised in like if you were raised in a more suburban or democratic area versus a conservative republican area, it just depends on a lot of factors.”

Other students feel that their fellow peers are paying attention to the election, but that their young votes may not be looked upon as high importance from the potential candidates.

“I think college students pay attention to the debate and to the election. I think the perceived value of their vote might be a little low but I think they’re paying attention,” Alex Crozier said.

Crozier is impressed with his generation but agrees that students do need to from their own opinions and pay attention to the debates. This debate was third of twelve upcoming presidential debates, giving students plenty of opportunities to get informed.

“I applaud the people that do take the time to form their own opinions,” Lamari stated.

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