In honor of the first presidential debate of the 2016 election season, Millersville University hosted a roundtable debate with student representatives from political organizations on campus. The College Republicans were represented by Cody Youse and Anthony Cazillo. Caitlyn Hallman and Elliot Fuchs of the MU College Democrats spoke for the democratic party. Dan Zalewski was the voice for the libertarian party, which was the only third party represented. Dr. Robert Spicer, a professor in the Communication and Theater department and the interim advisor for the Walker Fellows, was the moderator of the event.
The topics of the debate concentrated on the three focuses of the presidential debate: America’s direction, America’s prosperity and America’s security. To begin the discussion for each topic, representatives were given two minutes to state their views. Then the table opened up to debate individual statements. Under the paradigms of direction, prosperity and security, the individuals focused on vital topics such as global warming, women’s rights, military spending and the effects of corporations in our society.
Although the discussion was lively and passionate, the Millersville students were respectful of each political party’s views on each topic. The roundtable participants did not speak over each other and attempted to stick within their time limits. Closing statements were forgone in order to allow the students in the audience to participate in a question and answer session. This section of the debate was the most passionate part of the event. Millersville students who were not seated at the round table were clamoring to voice their own opinions and question the views of the representatives of the political organizations.
The debate was so popular amongst the general population that many are advocating to continue the events throughout the rest of election season. Once the student debate was completed, students were able to remain in SMC room 118 to watch the live-stream of the presidential debate.
This cooperation of such a large group of individuals with different political views has created an opportunity for the entire campus to voice their opinions and educate themselves on such an important element of our country.