Election season is a busy time with a lot of information given to voters at once. To help students at Manhattanville College navigate the process and pick their candidate, the Duchesne Center for Religion and Social Justice, along with the Communications Studies department and the Office of Campus Life, hosted a viewing party for each debate in the Berman Students' Center.
Approximately 100 students attended the first debate, which included a panel discussion with faculty. A week later the number had risen to 125.
Professors Tony Rudel, Visiting Lecturer, and Brian Snee, Communications Studies department chair, were integral in not only the planning process, but also making sure the students knew what to look and listen for during the debates. Father Wil Tyrrell, Director of the Duchesne Center and Catholic Chaplain, helped students to look at the ethical import behind the issues and policies.
"I didn't attend the first debate but a lot of my classmates and friends did," Matthew Murphy '14 said. "After hearing people talk about it I decided to attend the second viewing party. By watching it with other students and professors I learned a lot about perception and how easily elections can be affected by a single statement."
The third and final presidential debate of the season is Monday, October 22, 2012. The topic is Foreign Policy. The viewing party will start at 8:45 p.m. in the Student Center Lobby.
In tune with the topic, international food will be served. An informal poll will be taken at the end of the debate to see who students think won this round, and if any of the candidates statements changed students' views on their candidate of choice.
The debate viewing parties not only tie in with Manhattanville's commitment to social action, but also it's dedication to getting students involved in the presidential election. In September and October, Manhattanville also hosted Voter Registration days. Nearly 200 students, many of them first time voters, were able to register to vote either in New York, or by absentee ballot in their home states.