Nearly 50 students gathered in Beaman A&B to view the third and final U.S. presidential election debate on Oct. 23. College Democrats, College Republicans, the Student Activities Programming Board and the Department of Political Science co-sponsored the debate viewing party.
“Being at a university is about understanding a variety of viewpoints, and seeing [students] coming together to share those things [at the debate] is really awesome,” said Matt Whitman, university marketing and special initiatives assistant.
Moderated by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, the debate took place at Lynn University in Florida. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney discussed issues including Libya, Syria, China and defense spending.
Meanwhile on Belmont’s campus, bi-partisan efforts of the organizations showed in an even representation of political parties with some students wearing a Romney/Ryan campaign hat, a JFK button, Reagan T-shirt and an Obama sticker. College Democrats President Charlie Hickerson said he was pleased to see students from both on-campus political groups coming together.
“While there is always room to improve political involvement on campus, I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out of both the Democrats and Republicans and very pleased with the civility of both sides,” Hickerson said.
“Especially for Belmont, which is a politically apathetic campus, I was pleased to see students coming out in an election year,” said Laine Milam, president of the College Republicans.“I really hope we can keep this momentum going.”
Milam and Hickerson also discussed the possibility of co-sponsoring events in the future.
Bi-partisan efforts showed even in the Sodexo-provided beverages. Students sipped on blue-raspberry lemonade and red fruit punch as the presidential candidates discussed foreign policy.