Presidential Debate Watches
College of AHSS provides events to inform NDSU voters
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 15:10
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is offering students and faculty the opportunity to get the most out of this year’s presidential debates, as well as highlighting the strengths of the college of AHSS.
The college of AHSS is hosting watch events for the presidential debates from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m. today, Oct. 16 and Oct. 22. Many students attended the first presidential debate watch held on Oct. 3
“We felt we had a great deal of expertise from various departments in the college that could help add to the debate experience,” said Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies Ann Burnett. “We wanted a venue in which all interested NDSU students could gather and reflect on the debates.”
Burnett feels the debates are a beneficial experience, and wanted to provide a way for students to take part.
“Presidential debates are unique political speech acts,” said Burnett. “So simply being a part of the rhetorical experience is really important.”
Burnett also feels that the debates provide clarity for undecided voters.
“Debates give voters one final chance to evaluate the candidates before Election Day,” said Dr. David Silkenat, assistant professor of history and education. “Unlike the convention speeches and the campaign ads, the presidential debates allow voters to see the candidates side by side.”
Along with providing a common place to watch the debates, moderators will also conduct discussions and activities before and after the debates. Silkenat hosted a bingo game during the first debate on Oct. 3. Participants crossed off key words on a bingo card whenever a candidate said it during the debate.
More important than the Bingo were the conversations students had before and after the debate about the issues and the candidates, Silkenat said.
Other events will take place at the upcoming debate watches. The NDSU forensics team will lead a division of the house event; the Campaign and Elections class, taught by Peter Balega, will run a Twitter feed during the debates; and Drs. Thomas Ambrosio and Nick Bauroth will lead a political science oriented discussion after the final debate.
Silkenat added that the election poses many concepts for students to think about, including federal financial aid, insurance and the job market. The college of AHSS hopes students will watch the debates in order to become more aware of the world around them.
“The debates bring the voting public together to listen to the candidates running for the top office in the land,” Burnett said. “Every voting citizen should fully participate in the process, including the debates.”
Schedule of debate watch events:
Oct. 11 – Debate on foreign and domestic polity
Parliamentary style division of the house in IACC 104 with NDSU forensics team
Oct. 16 – town meeting format debate on foreign and domestic polity
Simultaneous national Twitter feed in Minard 222 with Peter Balega’s campaigns class
Oct. 22 – Debate on foreign policy
Political science discussion in Minard 222 with Thomas Ambrosio and Nick Bauroth