Not to be left out of debate season, Virginia Tech students tackled the big questions of this year's election in their own debate last night.
SGA and VTU held the Campus Candidate Forum in Haymarket Theatre yesterday as part of SGA's Voter Awareness Campaign. Representatives from Young Democrats, College Republicans and Libertarians at VT discussed some of the same issues that presidential candidates have been engaging in.
“The questions are supposed to be very timely and (are) be based off of the political debate that took place Monday night,” said Erica Wood, the SGA's Director of Governmental Affairs.
The moderators, students from the Political Science Club, provided questions and each debater had a minute to address the questions.
“The debate is between students and is meant to help gain some political insight as well as raise more political awareness on campus,” Wood said.
Moderators asked several series of questions, including introductory questions, questions with rebuttal and questions from Twitter. The questions varied among topics such as government intervention, healthcare, foreign policy, immigration and education.
In past years, the Young Democrats and College Republicans were unable to agree on a debate format and make the event happen; however, this year the joint effort of SGA and VTU was able to make the event a success.
“All the individuals who debated did an excellent job,” Wood said. “I am very happy with how the debate went in its entirety.”
Andrew Russell, a senior mining and mineral engineering major, thought the debate was very informative.
“I enjoyed hearing all three political groups break down their basic views and policies,” Russell said.
Andrew George, a sophomore political science major, called the debate balanced.
“It was a great way to get exposure of political policies to students, and hopefully it will help students make an educated decision when they vote in November,” George said.
Over the summer, Wood talked to several political organizations and met with VTU to discuss the possibility of partnering with them to make the Campus Candidate Forum possible.
“We chose to work with VTU because we knew they have great ideas are great people to work with when putting on events. I worked very hard with ... the VTU director of special events, with our voter outreach program, voter registration drive, presidential debate screenings, and the campus candidate forum,” Wood said.
SGA's Voter Awareness Campaign has aimed to not only register voters, but to make sure that they are educated on political issues they will need to know before going to the polls.
The event was sponsored by VTU, Students for Education Reform, and Teach for America.
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