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Campus debate packs Whitley Auditorium

Elon University undergraduate and law students took the stage Wednesday night in a campus event that matched supporters of Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama against each other for a presidential debate on issues chosen by their peers at a recent College Coffee.

Students filled Whitley Auditorium on Oct. 8 for a campus debate between supporters of Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

The Oct. 8 event, co-sponsored by the Elon chapter of the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, the Student Government Association, the Office of Civic Engagement, and a fall semester class led by political science professor George Taylor, attracted hundreds of students to Whitley Auditorium.

“Seeing this many people being enthusiastic about the election is a good indicator of what voter participation is going to be like,” said Daniel Shutt, president of the College Democrats.

Topics included the environment, education, the Iraq war and foreign policy, and the economy. Both sides took turns sharing their respective parties’ platforms on the issues and, at times, the oft-repeated criticisms of their opponents.

The teams also took questions from the audience. Those questions were collected during a brief intermission halfway through the night.

“It’s important that people hear different sides of issues and the different ideologies,” said Nick Ochsner, one of the debaters and head of the College Republicans. “The point of the event is to educate students with a discussion between the two parties.”

The Republicans

Barron Thompson (Elon Law)
Summer Nettleman (Elon Law)
Nick Ochsner (Sophomore)
Daniel Jessup (Senior)

The Democrats

Supriya Khazanie (Elon Law)
JC MacCallum (Elon Law)
Amanda Duberman (Sophomore)
Daniel Shutt (Senior)

Eric Townsend,
10/9/2008 5:27 PM