By Kelsey Flynn | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Kelsey Flynn
Catie Hodge, president of the Political Guild, is creating events to educate students about the candidates for the 2008 presidential election.
Earlier this semester, the political guild held Rock the Vote, cosponored by SGA, CAB, Club OYE and Ringhaver Student Center, as well as three other debate screenings. All the events are ideas thought of by members of the group. “One of us suggested debate watching parties,” said Hodge. “We all decided that is something we would personally enjoy, and in all likelihood so would other politically-minded students.”
The political guild promotes voter registration, but does not promote specific parties or candidates.
The club feels it is important for students to have knowledge about the candidates, and politics in general. “We want college students to feel like they have more political efficacy through education,” said Hodge. The purpose of the events is to give students a resource to watch the debate, and get a better understanding of the candidates.
On Oct. 7, the club held its fifth event in the Ringhaver Student Center TV Lounge. They aired the debate of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama in Nashville, Tenn., at the Belmont Curb Center. The event began at 8 p.m., with a pre-show from CNN’s election center. The club offered pizza and soft drinks for those who attended.
According to members, the debate screenings have been a very popular event for the club, especially during this presidential election year. The vice president of the Political Guild, Ivey Jones, said that this debate had the biggest attendance. “It had an excellent turnout,” Jones said, “more than doubled the amount than in the past.”
Viewers came not only to watch, but also show actual support for a candidate. Even before arrival, some students already had opinions about which candidate would perform better.
Steve Theberge, sophomore, said, “I expect that McCain will give educated answers and Obama to give popular answers.” Whitney Orkies, junior, said she thought Barack Obama would win.
The political guild noted they will continue to hold a number of events prior to Election Day. This is in effort to keep students both active and informed. The next event will be a question and answer session with an Obama representative. This will take place on Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Ringhaver room 213.
On Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. the guild will be holding a red sate versus blue state dodge ball tournament in the gym. Additionally, the McCain representative question and answer session will be held on Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Ringhaver room 213.
Finally, the club will hold a four day long event from Oct. 27 to 31. The group will be hosting a “presidential penny war” which will take place both in front of the dining hall and in the student center. According to Hodge, pennies will count as votes for the candidate, while silver coins will count as votes taken away.
As a conclusion to the presedential election season, on Nov. 4 the club will hold an election party beginning around 6 p.m. and lasting to whenever the race is called.