Students watch debate

CLARION, Pa.- Many university students and organizations gathered to watch the first presidential debate of the season Sept. 26.

The Clarion University College Democrats held their watch party Monday night, and club president Seth Ickes felt that the debate went strongly in their favor.

“[Clinton] was definitely prepared, unlike Trump,” he said.  He also mentioned the difference in performances between the two candidates.

Alyssa Hetrick / The Clarion Call Students prepare to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in the first presidential debate of 2016.
Alyssa Hetrick / The Clarion Call
Students prepare to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in the first presidential debate of 2016.

While Ickes and the rest of the College Democrats were impressed by candidate Hillary Clinton’s “cool and collected” demeanor, they were less than impressed by Republican candidate Donald Trump’s.

“Trump was clearly nervous and couldn’t hold his own without becoming upset,” Ickes added.  He had been excitedly anticipating the debate and seeing someone “finally put Donald Trump in his place.”

Kami McGee, another student Democrat, also believes wholeheartedly that Clinton won the debate.  She also felt that Clinton handled herself a lot better than Trump did and called Trump’s performance “immature and unprepared.”

In her opinion, the most memorable part of the debate was when Trump said that he had a better temperament than Clinton, and the audience did not take it seriously.

“[It’s] because everyone knows that’s the furthest thing from the truth,” McGee said.  She, like Ickes, also felt that Clinton is a more serious and competent candidate for the presidency and fully believes that Trump will lose the election in November.

Serena Speer, president of the Clarion College Republicans, had very few expectations for either candidate.  “This election has been so much different than previous ones in that both Trump and Clinton are rather non-traditional presidential candidates,” she explained.

In her opinion, the winner of the debate was Donald Trump, saying he “did a great job in explaining his plan to revitalize the American economy by keeping jobs here in America.”

As far as the election goes, Speer thinks it could go either way.  “It will be interesting to see what happens in November,” she said.

Alyssa Hetrick / The Clarion Call Debate team advisor Jim Lyle addresses a crowd at a watch party for the first presidential debate of the season.
Alyssa Hetrick / The Clarion Call
Debate team advisor Jim Lyle addresses a crowd at a watch party for the first presidential debate of the season.

Another Republican student, Dillon Azar, said he was not really sure what to expect.  He anticipated that Clinton would be more professional because of the experience she has over Trump.  He does argue, however, that Trump was able to remain professional.

Azar felt that Clinton’s “shots” at Trump were ineffective, and that he missed multiple opportunities to poke holes in Clinton’s arguments.  “If Trump wants to win,” he said, “he can’t miss so many opportunities to go on the offensive against Hillary.”

In regards to the election in November, he has full faith that Trump can beat Clinton if he continues to remain professional and articulate.

Although there are many differing opinions about the outcome of the debate and the potential results of the election, students at Clarion University are extremely passionate and interested.  Democrats and Republicans alike will continue to watch debates and campaign coverage until the results of the election come in.

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