Clubs Sponsor Debate Viewing

By Theresa Schliep

Political organizations on campus such as the Fordham Political Review, United Student Government, College Democrats and College Republicans co-sponsored a screening of the debate between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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Students who attended the screening of the debate laughed, screamed and cheered at particular points in the dialogue.

The room was packed to capacity with students who hollered at Trump’s demand for Clinton to “release her emails” as well as Clinton’s jab that “[A] man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.”
Some students said the debate only solidified who they plan to vote for.

“Well, I was already planning on voting for Hillary, and my decision was only reaffirmed,” said Parker Bartoloni, FCRH ’20. “I don’t know why anyone would ever vote for Donald Trump, if anything I think he did a good job imploding himself. She just kind of sat there and watched it happen, she didn’t have to do too much about it.”

Bartoloni said there is an obligation among students and political groups to vote and to educate, respectively.

“I think everyone has an obligation to vote, no matter how they vote, so I think it’s important for these events to happen,” said Bartoloni.

“It is really important for colleges to hold events like this because I think it gets dialogue open and it helps clubs talk to each other,” said Eleanor Werner, FCRH ’18, vice president of College Democrats. “It helps college democrats and college republicans come together and remember we’re here for a bigger purpose.”
Werner also said events like these encourage people who are not politically active to participate in democracy.

“It gets people who maybe don’t realize the importance of elections and how important it is to vote,” said Werner.

The treasurer of College Democrats, Sean Todd, FCRH ’19, said the importance of co-sponsored events lies in discussion betweenthe two parties on campus.

“We never really see each other,” said Todd. “So it’s pretty cool that we get to come together.”

“It shows we can still have a civil and political conversation,” said Thomas Palumbo, FCRH ’17. “As heated and polarizing as this can get, we’re still capable of sitting down and talking about the issues and being in a room together without it exploding.”

Matthew Johnson, FCRH ’17, and vice president of college republicans said he felt this program showed that members of College Democrats and College Republicans are one entity.

“We have class together, we live together, its not like we’re two separate entities,” said Johnson. “We’re all Fordham students. It reminds us we don’t have to hate each other, even though we have opposing political views.

Johnson also said events like might encourage quieter students to not feel isolated because of their political ideology.

“Every class has that one kid who always answers every question and is always talking to the professor,” said Johnson. “I feel if they’re an outspoken member of either side of the party, the less introverted people may not have the courage or feel unable to speak up, especially as a Republican on a college campus. Opportunities like this provide discourse and conversation.”