Students laughed, groaned and cheered while they watched the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night during a watch party hosted by the College Democrats.
The presidential debate allowed the 12 candidates, including Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX) and more, to further develop their political policies and platforms.
“Debates like this are a great example to see where the whole party stands,” political director for the Kent College Democrats, Tyler Gardner said. “You have people from Bernie Sanders, to Joe Biden, to Andrew Yang, who are going to have very different views of where they party should go, but there should be something for everyone.”
Candidates debated on topics like President Trump’s impeachment proposal, health care improvements and the wealth taxation plans.
There were several moments that stood out said Laura Green, senior digital media production major.
“I like that they brought up the opioid epidemic,” Green said. “That’s really important especially given Ohio and how it has been affected. I like that they brought up guns, since that’s an important issue for me.”
During commercial breaks, students held small debates of their own, discussing points previously made by some of the candidates and supporting their top candidates.
Certain candidates surprised some viewers during the debate with their composure and stage presence.
“I think Andrew Yang has surprised me a little bit,” Kent State alumnus Braylon Lee said. “[Tulsi Gabbard] surprises me as well. She’s very calm and direct, and I think people need to watch out for her as well.”
Although the debate covered many pressing issues, Lee said there were some topics he would have liked to hear more about.
“I believe education is the most important thing,” Lee said. “You cannot have a good military without education. You cannot have good doctors, lawyers, and teachers … without education. So, I wish that was talked about more.”
Gardner encouraged students to watch the debates to get more insight on their own political views.
“Even if it’s not at our organization, … it’s important for students to know where they stand on things, and if they don’t know, to come to both,” Gardner said. “Check out Democrats, check out Republicans, learn what you stand for. Now more than ever it’s super important to know what’s going on.”
Graduate student Jamie Vado emphasized the importance of being politically involved, even at a young age.
“I think 60% of Americans of voting age don’t vote, and if that voting block decided to actually participate in our democracy they would decide every election ever,” Vado said. “The more people care, the more people get involved, the better things would be.”
Contact Zaria Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.