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SDSU hosts Debate Watch 2020

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 10:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - While 2020′s presidential candidates debated on the stage in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday evening, the Brookings community got in on the action with their own discussion on the South Dakota State University campus.

Debate Watch 2020 is a national event that allows universities and communities across the country to discuss some of the most important issues facing the United States. And, the SDSU School of American and Global Studies is delighted to be an official participant.

“This was a really unique event and opportunity to come together, no matter what your political affiliation, and to view the debate as a community, and then have thoughtful discussion afterwards," SDSU School of American & Global Studies Director Christi Garst-Santos said.

One of the event’s moderators, former SDSU professor of political science, Bob Burns, says hosting this formal viewing of the presidential debate is a perfect way to get young people involved in the political process.

“The lowest voter turnout in among the youngest voters, particularly among those 18 to 24 years of age," Burns said. "So, anything to provide them an added incentive to become engaged and exercise that great opportunity to cast a vote.”

As for the students themselves, they are excited to have experts, like Burns, at their disposal to answer questions, and to shed light on some major topics.

“Just being in the moment is really exciting, and then also having some more insight and actually being able to be involved is cool too, because you get more hands-on experience and you get that depth that you might not get at home," SDSU Sophomore Cole Peterson said.

SDSU Senior Spencer Thompson, who helped organize the event, says he hopes those in attendance can take something away from the Debate Watch.

“What we want is for the audience, and everyone watching, to learn a little bit about the political process, and maybe understand the issues surrounding the campaign a little bit more," Thompson said.

SDSU will be hosting similar events at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center for the remaining two debates.

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