Debate watch parties engage student body

Lauren Gaines, Associate Editor

Throughout the fall semester, Tulane’s Political Science department has been hosting a series of lectures, live screenings of debates and forums centered on the presidential election.

The Political Science department said it believes these events allow students to voice their opinions on the electoral process and this year’s candidates.

These events also create an educational platform for students and professors to discuss the issues this election season.

Political science Professor Scott Nolan hosted one of the presidential debate screenings. He said the event allowed him to engage with students following the debates on the policies and the candidates’ overall performances.

“Any time I can learn what interests students, in their own words, I become a better professor,” Nolan said. “With candidates this polarizing, it was great to hear the student audience react in real time; you can’t get that watching at home.”

Nolan said he sees the events as steps toward building an informed student body at Tulane, which will encourage students to cast their votes this November.

“Elections matter,” Nolan said. “To participate well we need engagement and information; the best voter [and] citizen is a well informed voter [and] citizen.”

Freshman Emma Coffman said she believes watching the debates is important, seeing as students have an impact on both the outcome of the election and the country’s future.

“If we don’t vote, the election will be decided by those older than us, people who will not be around for the majority of our lifetimes,” Coffman said. “If we want to truly make a difference, we have to start by using our voices and our voting rights.”

Early voting in Louisiana began Oct. 25, 2016 and will end Nov. 1, 2016. Election Day is Nov. 8, 2016.