By Anthony Krim
The Student Government Association hosted a watch party for the first presidential debate of the year on Monday night.
James MacGregor, vice president of University Affairs, organized the event. MacGregor said SGA has been actively looking for ways to educate young voters.
“One of the initiatives SGA has been working on is to make the campus more politically aware,” MacGregor said. “Every week there’s been a voter registration table, and we wanted to know what we could do different. So we decided to host a debate watch.”
SGA President Tyler Miller-Gordon said that having events like this are important, because it engages college students to care about the future of the U.S.
“If things like this didn’t happen, we would be facing more of a dismal, less educated future, and I think that it’s important that we make informed decisions when it comes to the election,” Miller-Gordon said.
Miller-Gordon also said he believes it is important for students of different political views to come together and not only watch the debate, but also discuss opinions and solutions.
“It’s extremely important, on a college campus in general, let alone the political sphere, to come up with actual solutions,” Miller-Gordon said.
Dylan Edwards, president of the YSU Student Democrats, agreed with Miller-Gordon and said that talking about opposite views creates a community more adapt to working together.
“The more that people — Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, — come together to hash out their differences, I think the better off those people are for supporting the things that they do,” Edwards said. “You are more likely to get compromise if you can level and find common ground.”
Laurencia Canzonetta, a Republican YSU student, said she was very happy to see an event like this take place on campus.
“Having a debate watch party is great for the campus and for its students,” Canzonetta said. “It allows students to become engaged in politics and make connections with others. I am glad to see my university making an effort to educate students on the issues that will impact their future greatly.”
In addition to broadcasting the debate, the event also offered information on where students can go to vote, as well as voter registration sheets that students could fill out.
According to Miller-Gordon, other campus political events are coming.
“We have a ‘Rock the Vote’ event coming up on Oct. 6,” Miller-Gordon said. “We’re going to shift our focus to engagement and education at this point, but it’s extremely important for us to start with something like this in order to get people involved.”