The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey saw a strong turnout for its first two Presidential Debate Viewing Parties at Alton Auditorium, and the students who organized the viewing party on Monday night, Oct. 22 were hoping for more of the same.
Monday night’s viewing party for the final debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney was the first event of the Stockton Student Senate's Political Awareness Week.
“We thought this would be a great way to engage students. The event’s open to everyone, and it’s a great way to inform students,” said Tim Fischer, a senior biology major who serves as the President of the college’s Democratic Club and helps run the Honors Program.
Fischer started the Democratic Club when he was a junior, and reprised his role as the club’s president this year after a brief hiatus. A number of students he’s come into contact with the school lack political knowledge, he said, which served as his inspiration to put this week of events together.
“It’s a reboot of the club and there’s a lot of new people, so we’re trying to spread information about the election,” Fischer said.
Monday’s viewing party became a reality over the last week, when Fischer realized there were no other events scheduled to coincide with Monday’s debate.
According to Fischer, 62 people attended the event. Each of the first two events drew about 100 people, according to Stockton officials.
Monday night saw a mixture of students and members of the general community. Some had not seen a debate until Monday night, but they all followed the developments and they all had strong opinions, something Fischer was hoping for.
“I don’t want to preach to the same people,” Fischer said. “I want people to come see the debate and get their own information, and let things fall to the people.”
Other events to raise awareness have included a registration drive, in which the club got over 500 students registered to vote in this year’s election, and a question-and-answer session with Galloway Mayor Don Purdy and Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola
Still to come this week: a “Taco Tusesday” discussion of the Building our Future Bond Act, a lecture on the history of politics on Thursday, and a roundtable discussion of the issues in the coffee house area on Friday night.