Students and faculty weigh in on first Democratic Debate of 2016 election

By Molly Hurley

Staff Writer

Bridgewater State University (BSU) students and staff are expressing their opinions over the most recent Democratic Debate held on Oct 13.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafe, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley discussed topics throughout the evening such as global warming, illegal immigration and gun violence.

Daniel Reilly, a BSU senior and Republican voter, shared his view on Clinton’s email controversy and said, “It’s a lack of responsibility and character. It’s primarily a character flaw, she should know better than to have a private personal server especially when she has access to classified information.”

Nate Weiss, a freshman at BSU recently registered to vote. He is looking forward to participating in the voting process next Nov.

“Both my parents and their families are primarily Republican. I’ve watched both of the Republican debates as well as the Democratic debate last week,” said Weiss. “I really enjoyed listening to all the candidates and their views if the hold office. Who knows, after a couple more debates I may vote democrat.”

Similarly, Dr. Jason Edwards teaches News and Politics along with Political Communication. Students in his current News and Politics class were requested to watch the debate.

In class discussion, Edwards said, “My students were generally fascinated in the discussion between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Some of my students clearly viewed Clinton winning the debate (and I also said it wasn’t even close…. my line was Hilary is playing chess everyone else is playing checkers). Moreover, the students were wondering why a couple of candidates (Webb and Chafee) were actually up there.”

Regarding Edward’s personal views on the debate, he said, “I personally thought it was a fairly good substantive debate.”

However, Edwards also said, “I think that CNN didn’t do a very good job of moderating the debate. I think that Bernie Sanders tried to keep it above board by not engaging in personal character attacks. However, when he had the opportunity to go on the offensive with regards to policy he never pivoted.”

According to Edwards, politics can be a very tough area to engage students in.

He states that he does not hold back his personal views and hopes his students will follow.

“I tell my students I am an equal opportunity criticizer, said Edwards. “I try to be critical of both parties and candidates. However, I don’t hide my political views, but I also try to create an environment where all views are welcome.”

The next Democratic debate will take place on Nov. 14. This debate will be by CBS, KCCI and Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa.

Molly Hurley is a Staff Writer for The Comment newspaper.

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