Students hosted viewing parties across campus and as far as Raleigh for the first presidential debate Wednesday night.
The UNC Young Democrats co-sponsored a viewing party in the Student and Academic Services Building North in conjunction with the Black Student Movement and Tar Heels for Obama.
The UNC College Republicans traveled to Raleigh to compete with the College Republicans at N.C. State University to see which school could do more canvassing and phone banking.
The groups then held a joint viewing party for the presidential debate in Raleigh.
Sophomore Dolly Adelekun, a public policy major, attended the SASB North viewing to learn more about the candidates’ platforms.
“This is my first election I can vote in, and I really want to be informed about the issues from both sides.”
Another viewing party in the Undergraduate Library attracted a smaller number of students.
Sophomore Joseph Kleinhenz attended the UL viewing, and he expressed his hopes going into the debate.
“I hope they focus on issues rather than attacking the other opponent and avoid the pattern of divisive politics that is present today,” he said.
Sophomore Ashlyn Vinson attended the SASB North viewing and said she thinks the debate is important because college students need to vote, and becoming informed about the candidates is an important part of that process.
“(The debates) are very accessible, very visible and a big deal,” said Young Democrats President Austin Gilmore.
“There are people who will make a decision on how they will vote based on how the debates go.”
College Republicans chairman Garrett Jacobs had a similar opinion on the importance of the debates.
“When candidates can redefine themselves in debates, they are incredibly important,” Jacobs said.
“This year, I think the debates are going to be really important.”
Gilmore said UNC students are very politically involved, as evidenced by the multiple viewing parties across campus.
“This election is going down to the wire, so everyone needs to get out and vote,” Gilmore said.
“Anyone who believes in our system believes in democracy and should get out to the poll and should vote.”
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