The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Presidential debate sweeps the nation, rocks the campus, Boulevard

Hundreds attend, stay through televised event
 Presidential debate sweeps the nation, rocks the campus, Boulevard
Presidential debate sweeps the nation, rocks the campus, Boulevard

Presidential debate sweeps the nation, rocks the campus, Boulevard

Cheers and boos echoed from Bishop Boulevard Thursday night asstudents, faculty and staff gathered to watched the first televisedpresidential debate.

Several hundred people sat, stood and spilled into thestreets.

“I am thrilled about the number of students who showed up— it more than exceeded my expectations,” said MissyBryant, Residence Hall Association adviser. “Andthey’re staying,” she added, noting the large crowdthat remained throughout the debate, even as T-shirts, pizzas andsodas ran out.

Local news organizations such as WFAA Channel 8, WB 33,Telemundo, The Dallas Morning News and WBAP 820 AM all cameto cover the event.

“I was extra impressed with the turnout we had,”said political science professor Joseph Kobylka. “The wholething went off as smoothly as it possibly could.”

“I think it’s an excellent idea to get peopleregistered to vote and raise awareness on campus,” saidDesiree Brown, a junior political science major and president ofthe Political Science Symposium.

Student volunteers registered 191 students to vote. Juniorcorporate communications and public affairs major and Dedman 2senator Katie Walton previously met with the League of Women Votersto be deputized to register her peers.

“It’s a really cool feeling to register yourfriends,” she said. “It’s had a lot of positiveimpact on campus.”

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for as long as youvote,” said Lisa Foster, College Republicans executivevice-chair and sophomore CCPA major.

The College Republicans and Young Democrats both had tables onthe Boulevard. Representatives from each organization offeredhandouts and brochures with information about the candidates andtheir viewpoints on the issues. The Women’s Interest Networkalso had a table with information specifically aimed at women.

“During the Bush administration, we’ve had a lot ofissues about abortion,” said Elizabeth Barrett, a sophomorevolunteer with WIN. President Bush supported the ban onpartial-birth abortion.

“If abortion is made illegal again…I don’twant to think about that,” Barrett said.

Bush’s leadership makes him the choice for Kristen Damman,sophomore political science major and campus affairs vice-chair ofthe College Republicans.

“I think Bush has a very good stance and much moreexperience than John Kerry,” she said.

Some heated discussions broke out between groups of students,but for the most part the crowd was respectfully attentive.

“It’s great to see so many students out,” saidMike Whaley, junior political science and public policy major.”The outcome of this election matters to us just as much asanyone else. When it comes down to it, this election is about thefuture, and we are the future.”

Whaley will be supporting Kerry on Nov. 2. “He recognizesthat we can’t be successful as a nation by simply going aboutour foreign policy unilaterally and ignoring the opinions of ourclosest allies and the rest of the world,” he said.

First-year business major Courtney Howe supports Bush.

“I think one good term deserves another,” shesaid.

“To take him out now when he has so much unfinishedbusiness would be a bad idea. And to replace him with someone withno leadership skills would only further the chaos.”

While many people like to make fun of Bush for his”Bushisms,” Amen Amachigh defended him.

At one point during the debate, Bush mixed up Osama Bin Ladenand Saddam Hussein, names over which Kerry also stumbled. The crowddidn’t react to Kerry’s stumble but laughed atBush.

“People are determined to make Bush out to be a completeidiot,” said the sophomore history and music major.

Kobylka said that he was not surprised by the candidates’performances in the debate.

“They said nothing new tonight,” he said.

Bush’s attacks on Kerry focused on his vacillations, whileKerry spent his time encouraging people to trust his positions.

After hearing the Bush and Kerry debate, some students stilldon’t support either candidate. “Kerry seems to nothave his own views. Bush’s views are just backwards,”said James Jones, junior CCPA major.

Sophomore Corporate Communications and Publlic Affairs majorMelvinn Brown agreed.

“Forget Bush and Kerry. Where’s Bill?”

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