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Students React to Presidential Debate

Overall, students found the debate concerning and not helpful.

After the debate, many students felt confused and concerned. Unsplash

On Tuesday Sept. 29, Furman University's Politics and International Affairs Department hosted a Presidential Debate viewing CLP over Zoom. Over 1,100 students registered, but the webinar capped at 1,000 attendees. Hours before the debate, the Politics Department contacted Zoom to upgrade its license so that it could host such a large crowd.

Several students in virtual attendance shared their initial reactions to the debate with The Paladin. Junior Macie Joines said, “I cannot believe it came down to these two candidates.” Joines is looking forward to watching the Vice-Presidential debate, and hopes it is more professional and orderly compared to Tuesday’s debate.  

Junior Megan Litz said people should look at facts from both perspectives. By playing the devil’s advocate, people “can wager what is accurate and what is false.” Litz reminded her peers that the media often gives a laser cut narrative and not the entire storyline. She urges students to respect each other regardless of political views, as “people often discredit others based on their political affiliation.”

For Junior Asha Marie, this issue is personal. Marie was disappointed to see that 31% of 1,000 students polled at the end of the CLP indicated they will vote for Trump. She said, “It makes me feel really unsafe as a student of color,” knowing students on campus support Trump and “his harmful and hateful rhetoric.”

Senior Caleb Roberson, President of the Furman Conservative Society, commented "I'm not sure why anyone is surprised, we all knew what we were going to get. I think Trump missed a huge opportunity to bring people together, but Biden didn't help himself either when he also engaged in name calling on stage. I came away disappointed with both candidates."

Sophomore Elizabeth Gordon shared that the debate was overall “hard to watch and follow.” Gordon critiqued “both candidates talking over each other and egging each other on” and not mentioning how they will change America.  She believed the only redeeming quality of the debate was “Biden’s annoyed remarks towards Trump.”

Overall, students found the debate concerning and not helpful.

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