Truman State University recently hosted a final debate viewing party for the upcoming election in the Student Union Building HUB Oct. 19.
The event was hosted to allow students a chance to watch the final debate with other members of the student body and also to bring awareness to the importance of political participation. Truman’s Student Activities Board wanted to create an environment that was accepting of all opinions. The event had a turnout of around 100 students and staff ready to watch and engage with each other.
University President Gives Her Perspective
The party was hosted by SAB and had a large turnout. University President Sue Thomas spoke before the debate viewing began.
Thomas talked to the students about the importance of voting. She thanked all the students and staff who took the time to come to the event, and she then made a statement about the importance of political participation.
“Being here and watching this debate is showing how you are willing to protect our democracy,” Thomas says.
Thomas says a willingness to be involved in politics and to fulfill our civic duty as citizens mimics the goals of Truman’s liberal arts program. Thomas says paying attention to what’s going on as well as being an active citizen is what keeps our democracy strong. She says she was proud students participated in the event.
The Planning Process
SAB president Tim Hudson says the students are passionate about the election and wanted a place to watch it unfold. He says SAB is constantly looking for new ways to reach the student body, and the party seemed like the best idea. Hudson says considering this was the first time SAB hosted a debate viewing party, they didn’t know what to expect, but they were very happy with the overall turnout. Hudson says the election is very controversial, and he says SAB felt it was important to promote political participation during an election like this.
Hudson says he thinks it’s difficult to get younger generations interested in political debate, but the Board pulled it off. He says a lot of time went into making the viewing party happen. He says SAB had to secure a room, create eye-catching posters, obtain a projector, confirm Thomas as a speaker and, most importantly, order food.
“It seemed like this was something Truman students were passionate about in particular so we decided to bring it to them,” Hudson says.
Importance Of Student Political Activism
Junior Kristin Geirman, says she appreciates the chance to watch this type of thing with groups of people — to hear the stories and see the reactions of others. Geirman says SAB creates a neutral and safe environment and brings people together to raise awareness for the importance of being politically involved.
Geirman says her motivation to come to the watch party was the importance of political participation which SAB was trying to promote.