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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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Political Science Symposium hosts watch party in Varsity

The Varsity gained a new function last night – a political one.

SMU’s Political Science Symposium held an election watching party with pizza and sodas so students could watch election results as they rolled in.

President Cynthia Halatyn, a junior political science major, said she was pretty pleased with the turnout for the party and that the group had been planning it for a while.

“I was told by our advisers that [the Political Science Symposium] had done one for the 2004 election, so I thought, ‘Let’s do one for the midterm,'” she said.

Halatyn added that she had been planning the event since August.

Political Science Symposium Treasurer Katy Rowe, a senior English and anthropology major, said that some political science professors offered to give students extra credit for attending the event.

She added that the party would end when all poll results were in or when the Varsity closed at 11 p.m., whichever came first.

Senior Matt Haley was one of the 20 or so people watching CNN. Haley, the president of the SMU Democrats, said he was impressed with the elections this year.

“It’s a pretty interesting election,” he said, noting that there was a possibility for a “pretty big power shift” this year.

“I just think the event’s cool,” he added. He said the SMU Democrats talked about the event, sent out e-mails and decided to attend.

“We knew it would be a non-partisan event,” he said.

Senior Hershel Chapin said he was disappointed by the lack of turnout this year at the polls, especially in the 18-24 age group.

“The last I heard, 400 voters in SMU’s area [voted],” he said. “I’m guessing that’s pretty low – it’s just sobering.”

On a lighter note, Chapin added that the thought the event was a good idea.

“I’m glad the political science department and the students are involved in something like this,” said the finance and French double major. “Everyone is just here because they’re interested in the political sphere.”

Junior Jamie Corley was one such student. Corley, a St. Louis native, said she was watching the Missouri elections closely.

Corley worked on Republican senatorial candidate Jim Talent’s campaign this semester as a student representative to SMU “because there’s such a high population at SMU from Missouri,” she said.

The CCPA and history double major also volunteered for Congressman Todd Akin, R – Mo., this summer.

“I just have an interest in politics,” she said.

Halatyn said the group tried to emphasize the non-partisan aspect of the event.

“We’re a non-partisan group,” she said. “The bigger issue is we care about elections and we want them to be taken more seriously – especially 18 to 24-year-olds who don’t vote.”

She added that the Symposium had done voter drives earlier in the semester and had registered about 50 voters locally.

“We’re encouraging students who live on campus … to vote in this county and look at local issues,” she said. “You’re going to be here for four years – this stuff’s going to affect you.”

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