Campus News

Students across campus tune in for presidential debate


The Center for Student Involvement hosted one of many watch parties happening on campus in the Student Center South. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Students throughout campus gathered at various watch parties Monday night to see presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spar head-to-head for the first time.

The College Republicans at the University of Houston hosted their second debate watch party of the election season at Calhoun’s Rooftop following February’s GOP Debate that took place on campus. Students cheered, booed and yelled at the screens as the candidates presented their arguments to moderator Lester Holt, host of “NBC Nightly News,” and the public.

The Center for Student Involvement offered free popcorn at a watch party at the Monumental Stairs of the Student Center South. There, students watched the debate on the giant, flickering screen suspended above Starbucks.

“Donald Trump scares me more because of the followers he has than the things he actually says,” said Mario Lopez, an applied economics graduate. “He’s not going to be able to kick out 11 million immigrants.”

The Student Government Association and METRO teamed up to promote voter registration in the Student Center. METRO announced students could have free rides to polling locations on Election Day.

Another viewing party was held at the Honors College Commons. The Honors College Student Governing Board provided attendees with Blue Bell ice cream and a bingo card to fill out with quotes and factoids from the debate.

“Both candidates behaved as expected,” said pre-business sophomore Andrew Teoh. “I don’t think anyone would be swayed by this debate.”

CNN’s senior enterprise reporter Stephen Collinson said that Clinton put Trump in defensive mode throughout the debate.

“I support our democracy,” Clinton said during the debate. “I know Donald’s trying very hard to plant doubts about it, but I hope the people out there understand this election’s really about you and the kind of country and future you want.”

The candidates will square off again on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis. ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate.

Vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Tim Kaine will debate next Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

McRae Peavy and Ness Tiryakioglu contributed reporting.

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