Debates draw MU students to nonpartisan campus watch parties

Oct 17, 2012

More than a hundred MU students gathered on campus for last night’s presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Presidential candidate and former Governor Mitt Romney.

Several MU student groups, including Tigers Against Partisan Politics, the Missouri Students Association and Associated Students at the University of Missouri, hosted the event to encourage more students to learn about politics. The groups are sponsoring the nonpartisan watch parties at each Presidential debate.

MU student Trey Sprick is president of Tigers Against Partisan Politics. He says it is important for college students to take advantage of the right to vote.

“As cheesy and clichéd as it sounds, we really are the future of the country and so our needs have to be identified when it comes to policymaking,” he says. “So it’s really, really important for students to come to events like this, to educate themselves on the issues, to realize how important it is for them to vote and then to vote and not just stop there. Also, to realize that politics goes beyond the elections.”

About 185 MU students attended a debate watch party at the Bengal Lair lounge in Memorial Union,  to observe the debate in a nonpartisan environment. Following the 90-minute showdown, MU History professor and self-proclaimed political junkie Robert Collins led a discussion about the candidates’ performances and the policies they addressed.

Roshaunda Mclean is the Vice Executive of Associated Students of the University of Missouri, an organization dedicated to lobbying for student issues. She says the watch parties aim to help build students' knowledge before elections: “Since voter registration just ended we’re focusing educating students on how make an informed decision come November 6th and this is a way for students to understand both candidates positions on issues.” 

TAPP, MSA and ASUM/The groups will host another debate watch party Monday, October 22nd at the MU Black Culture Center.

KBIA's Jasmine Bailey contributed to this report.