GOP presidential debate affects students too

The College Republicans and The College Democrats scheduled viewing parties for the CNBC live broadcast of the third Republican presidential debate on Oct. 28 in the Arts and Sciences building.

The debate “Your Money, Your Vote” focused on economic issues crucial to voters such as taxes, retirement, and unemployment. Returning candidates for the debate include Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Mike Huckabee.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has exited the presidential race and did not return for the third debate.

Before the live debate, Jennifer Collins, College Republicans president, said she expected the candidates to focus on attacking Trump.

“After Trump suggested that Jeb Bush’s brother, former president George W. Bush, bore responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks during an interview this week, Jeb Bush is expected to be very aggressive against Trump,” Collins said.

Collins also predicted that the candidates will question Ben Carson on his credentials for presidency.

“Going into this debate, Ben Carson has gained momentum in the polls since the previous debate,” she said. Carson has since jumped to the lead, with Trump in second, according to a New York Times and CBS News poll.

“It is likely that Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul will come out swinging,” she continued, “as all three are tied for the lowest percentage at the polls when compared to the other candidates on stage.”

On the other side of the Arts & Sciences building in Nursing, College Democrats threw a Halloween-themed viewing party for the debate.

Marina James, College Democrats president, said before the debate, “We are going to watch the debate, have some political discussions and even a political costume contest.”

She said College Democrats held a viewing party for the first GOP debate earlier in the semester that hosted around 40 people.

“I feel as if Rubio is pushing forward and Ben Carson as well. I think that Rubio will outperform the rest of the candidates, but the debate will mostly focus on Trump as the media usually does,” she said.

Collins and James both stressed how important the debate should be to Seton Hall students.

“I think that watching the debate allows students to come up with their own idea about how to improve America. It allows individuals to figure out what will benefit them the most in present day and in the future,” James said.

Collins reflected on the impact these candidates will have on the future of the United States government.

“It is very important for Seton Hall students to watch the debate and become educated on each candidate’s platform. One of the ten candidates on stage will become the Republican nominee and therefore, one of two main choices for president next November,” Collins said. “Therefore, it is your American duty to be educated on the issues and the candidates’ platforms, as well as to vote in the election next year.”

Both Collins and James urged students to watch debates to become more informed on the issues.

“Seton Hall students should especially listen to each candidate’s view on student loans and the economy,” Collins said. “It is important to hear how strongly a candidate wants to change the monopoly of college tuition prices and the interest rates of student loans.”

Assistant journalism Professor Edward Krajewski, a former media producer at Fox News, emphasized the importance of the debate within American democracy.

“Debates are a big part of the democratic process, even if they’ve become a bit of an entertainment sideshow recently. Today we have TV campaigns, with candidates making appearances on cable news, daytime talk shows, and countless debates,” Krajewski said. “The political conversation may not be as mature as some of us would like, but in the end our politics are a reflection of us. If we don’t like what we see we have to demand better.”

Student Government Association President Teagan Sebba agrees on the importance of voting for college students. She is spearheading the TurboVote campaign, an online platform promoted at Seton Hall aiming to increase the number of registered student voters.

“Student voter turnout is so important because the youth vote has the potential to change the course of history,” Sebba said. “Many young people don’t realize how much power they have in their hands and I see students all around campus with big ideas and strong values but then I only see about half of them active in the political process or even just voting.”

Hunter DeSimone can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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