UNCW students weigh in on first 2012 presidential debate
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 02:10
The presidential debates for the 2012 election began Wednesday, Oct. 3, and UNCW students were there to see it happen- not in a bar or on their couches at home, but in a packed Lumina Theatre.
Students gathered to watch the presidential candidates debate domestic issues like the economy and tax rates. Many students came away disappointed- with the candidates and the topics.
Before the debate began, students discussed which issues they hoped would be touched on during the debate.
“I would like to hear about issues pertaining to the the Latino community,” said Nicole Murray, UNCW junior and a College Democrat representative. Murray also said she was interested to hear what the president had to say.
College Democrat representative and UNCW senior Jillian Flom had hoped that the candidates would talk about education.
College Republican representative and UNCW junior James Northorp was hopeful to hear more specific plans that both candidates had for the economy.
“I would like to see Romney defend himself,” said Drew Smith, UNCW junior and a registered Republican, “I want him to reach out to Republicans and show that he can change the current unemployment rates.”
Both Democratic and Republican party booths were set up in the Fisher Student Center outside of Lumina, offering students voter registration.
Inside Lumina, students of both parties and unaffiliated voters cheered when the candidates came onto the screen. During the debate, students laughed at the arguments about time made by the candidates and the Big Bird joke made by Romney.
Freshman Brittany Davies, who is unaffiliated, said that she was watching the debate to see if Obama gave any hope, although she said that she has no hope for him yet.
“I’m watching this because it’s about the economy,” said Davies, “and that’s what matters to me.”
Another unaffiliated freshman, Sharon Sides, said that this debate would possibly help her make her decision of who will receive her vote.
“I have no expectations for this debate,” said Sides, “but I am definitely planning on voting in this election.”
After the debates, Marygrace Labosky, freshman and a registered Democrat, wished that the candidates had talked about more social issues, instead of just taxes.
“[The debate] strengthened my ‘Obama-ness’,” said Labosky.
Other students said that the debate did not change their decision on who they were voting for. Josh Burnley, a freshman, said that his decision to vote for Obama was not affected by the debate.
“I tried to go in with an open mind,” said Josh Burnley, freshman. “I just wanted to see if Romney would say anything surprising.”
Abby Register, freshman and registered Republican, said that her decision to vote for the Republican candidate did not change either. She wasn’t expecting anything before she watched the debate, but believes it is good to know both sides of the debate.
During the closing statements of the debate, a viewer from the front of the audience threw an item at the screen and hit the side of the screen where Romney’s face was located, but no damage was done. No other acts of hostility were shown.
The event was put on by UNCW students, the Wilmington community and the Housing and Residence Life staff.