The first presidential debate watch party was standing-room only in the lower level of the Santa Clara University Library on October 3. Organizers are hoping to keep up the enthusiasm for the long list of events before the November 6 election. Political Science Assistant Professor James Cottrill estimates about 200 students came to the first watch party, a dramatic increase from 2008.
“I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the strong student response to the election so far,” said Cottrill. “I was afraid student enthusiasm would drop after 2008, but it appears to be undiminished.”
In addition to the debate parties, the Markkula Center hosted a talk about Transparency, Trust, and Campaign Finance, Professor Robert Senkewicz spoke about the history and evolution of elections, and MoveOn.org organizer Patrick Kane was featured in an event.
Congressional Candidate Evelyn Li also spoke on campus. She’s challenging incumbent Rep. Mike Honda who’s speaking on Friday, October 18 at 4 p.m. in the Daley Science Center, room 207.
“We appreciate those instructors who have involved their classes in attending the viewings. Students here have a lot on their plate and the fact that there were plenty of faculty and staff at the first viewing shows to students that it’s important to attend and get educated about the issues,” said SCU Director of Forensics Melan Jaich, who helped organize the events.
The SCU Debate team, coached by Jaich, has also been featured in a series of articles in the Mercury News. Crews from KGO and KTVU visited campus for the vice presidential debate watch party on October 11. Telemundo also covered the second presidential debate October 16.
Instruction and Reference Librarian Paul Neuhus, who has spearheaded the organization of the events, is hoping everyone in the SCU community makes an effort to come out for one of the events.
“We’re hoping the biggest event will be election night and it would be great to see a lot of faculty and staff there and mixing with the students,” says Neuhaus.
Thursday, October 18, Rep. Mike Honda, Member of Congress
Moderator Jim Cottrill, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Daley Science Center Room 207, 4 p.m.
Monday, October 22, Third Presidential Debate
Comments by Chris Bacon, environmental studies, and Farid Senzai, political science, Co-Sponsored by Modern Perspectives RLC, Dunne Hall Basement Lounge, 6 to 7:30pm
Tuesday, October 23, Student Debate
College Democrats versus College Republicans, Weigand Room, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Monday, October 29, Ethics at Noon: Proposition 34 and the Ethics of Capital Punishment
Hosted by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Wiegand Room, Noon to 1 p.m.
Tuesday, November 6, Election Night in the Learning Commons
Lower Level and First Floor Library, 3 p.m. to Midnight (or as needed)