Valenti Voices looks to encourage student-debate interaction

While candidates debated at the Moores Opera House, a cluster of students worked from a packed room at the Valenti School of Communications to provide coverage for the debate.

Students gathered at the Communications Technology Center at Valenti where they broadcasted the debate through a live video feed and conducted interactive polls and live tweeting.

“I think it’s great seeing so many students get involved with this,” broadcast journalism junior Crystal Aguilar said. “It’s pretty cool to see how technology is involved in this.”

Students participating on Twitter used the hashtag #valentivoices to contribute their opinions and tweet updates through polls and pictures.

“This whole thing is designed as an educational activity for our students,” assistant professor of communications Lindita Camaj said. “This is a fantastic and unique experience for students to be here, in the midst of a campaign, and get a feel for how it works.”

Camaj hopes that the experience will serve to benefit the students’ futures by preparing them with necessary journalism skills.

“Soon, many of these students will be graduating and going out doing these kinds of jobs,” Camaj said. “For our journalism students it’s important that they have these kinds of skills on hand.”

Alongside tweeting, a small crew of students broadcasted live from Valenti with interviews of students discussing the debate.

“I’m here to find out how students feel about the debate and make sure their voices are heard,” broadcast journalism senior Vanessa Croix said. “We’re really excited to be here and promote our students.”

Valenti hosted a watch party at the Student Center South as well as a stream of the debate online that featured interactive polls and broadcast coverage from the CTC and across campus.

“The idea is to get all the students involved here,” political science assistant professor Scott Clifford said. “(We want to have them) try to come up with good questions and coverage to give the students a way to participate in the debate.”

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