With more than 60 people in one room watching a presidential debate on foreign policy, there was bound to be strong opinions and disagreement. Some people were even angry with themselves.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Senate hosted a viewing party for the third and final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney Monday night, Oct. 22. The subject was foreign policy, but the candidates debated a little bit of everything.
The 62 students and community members who gathered walked away with strong opinions, and in some cases, those opinions were different than when they walked into the Campus Center Event Room.
Evan Yeung, a sophomore and a Political Science major, felt Romney contradicted himself, and was not as polished as Obama was on the subject of foreign policy, but it’s the candidates’ economic policies that concerned him the most.
“Foreign policy is not my area of expertise, but I felt Romney lacked in most areas,” Yeung said. “ … Obama will not help the economy.”
Yeung, who describes himself as a conservative-leaning independent, felt Obama’s policies give no incentive for people to work hard.
Monday’s debate was the first one he’d heard about on campus.
“I’m leaning 90 percent one way, but I have to go back and watch the other two debates,” said Patricia Jean-Gilles, a senior majoring in biology. “I’ve been trying to keep up with what’s going on, but I missed the first two debates because I had things to do for classes.”
Monday’s debate was the first she was able to attend, but she said she’s been keeping up with events politically, and will be voting early because she will be volunteering at the polls come election day.
“The ballot is on my dresser,” she said.
Zach Roeioo is one student who has been swayed by the debates.
“I’m not a Democrat, and the fact that I’m thinking about voting for Obama (is making me mad),” said Roeioo, a sophomore business administration major.
Most of the applause and cheering throughout the debate came from a select few, and was reserved for Obama, particularly when Obama’s comments about the country no longer using horses and bayonets during wartime, and his comments concerning the auto industry.
Stockton Democratic Club Vice President felt Monday night’s debate was a good start for the Senate's Political Awareness Week effort.
“We tried hard to get people to come out and I think we were successful,” said Alexander, a senior majoring in business management. “We still have the whole week to go.”