Political student clubs paired up to host mock presidential debate

Liberal and Conservative-leaning students came together for the planning and development of a bipartisan mock presidential debate


Eight students represented presidential candidates in a mock debate on Oct. 26. Some went as far to mimic the look of their presidential counterpart. Photo courtesy Susan Bowra

Gabby Alvarado, Contributing Writer

Two student organizations are working to encourage their classmates to make an educated decision when voting in the 2016 presidential election

College Democrats (liberal) and Liberty Caucus (conservative), two registered student organizations, have been working together to organize and host the first bipartisan Florida Atlantic Mock Presidential Debate on Monday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m.

Both student organizations published a news release to get the word out about the event. They also set up the hashtag, #FAUDebate, to raise awareness on social media.

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The debate was held in the House Chambers, moderated by Political Science Professor Marshall DeRosa and Political Communication Professor Deandre Poole.

DeRosa said there was a real representation of the candidates’ views and personalities in the students’ debate.

Many areas of interest to the regular college student were addressed. These included the role of government in higher education, immigration, gun control, taxes and the Middle East crisis.

Here are some of the students’ answers from the debate:

  • Thomas Valeo, as Martin O’Malley said:
    • “Mr. Trump, you talk a lot about what you would do, let me tell you what I have done.” When addressing immigration and his experience with the Dream Act in Maryland.
  • Doug Oberman, as Bernie Sanders said:
    • “Do you know how many students would then have access to a weapon that could be used to hurt other students?” When referring to the republicans’ proposal of arming school teachers.
  • Morgan Solorzano, as Hillary Clinton said:
    • “Do you honestly think people should be in power of making laws for those who don’t believe in the power of law?” Referring to her republican counterparts in the matter of gun control.
  • Ammar Ahmed, in representation of Donald Trump said:
    • “Mr. O’Malley is nothing but a mouthpiece. We are losing and we are losing badly, for which we have to take immigration seriously and strongly regulate it.” When referring to O’Malley’s stand on immigration.
  • Connor Lemcke, in representation of Marco Rubio said:
    • “I would stop focusing so much on the crisis in the middle east, Libya, Syria, Egypt, etc. I want to focus on America.” After a heated discussion between Clinton and Trump about the United States’ role in the Middle East.
  • Justin Musielak, as Jeb Bush said:
    • “I would put the crisis in the middle east as a priority over climate change. Terrorism is the biggest threat that our nation is facing today.” As a response to a question coming from the moderators about prioritizing.
  • Tyler Gidseg, as Ben Carson said:
    • “I am running because I am concerned with the direction that our country is heading. I believe America has lost its way because of the ineptness and empty-rhetoric heading our leadership.” During his opening statements.
  • Brian Kaam, as Joe Biden said:
    • “Luckily we are not the ones affected by gun violence. The families that lose their loved ones to gun violence are truly affected, and they demand change.” When responding to gun control questions from the moderators.

At the end, 19 of the attending FAU students voted for who they thought won the debate. Students placed a red or blue straw that represented their vote in a jar with a picture of their preferred candidate’s face on it.

Bernie Sanders won with 39 percent of the students’ vote.