Florida A&M students watched as President Barack Obama came out swinging at Tuesday night’s second presidential debate.
About 100 students gathered for the live stream of the debate. The watch party was co-sponsored by Progressive Black Men Inc., Dream Defenders, Black Youth Vote, Student Government Association, Feminist Majority and Just Vote You.
“The purpose behind tonight was to get people aware of the correlation between their actual concerns and what the presidential candidates are talking about,” said Lashanett Lorraine, a campus organizer for Dream Defenders.
Lorraine said the Dream Defenders would like to teach students self-empowerment, “enabling them to be leaders in their own circle.” The event was intended to publicize the Dream Defenders’ general body meeting and rally on Oct. 22.
The FAMU Programming Office helped with the production of the debate watch party. Upon entry, students were handed agree sticks and disagree sticks, which were used whenever a candidate said something reproachable or noteworthy.
“The agree and disagree sticks were very interactive and kept people engaged the whole time,” said Troy Harris, who works in the Programming Office and is a former student body vice president.
Most students lauded Obama while scorning Gov. Romney, but some kept an open mind.
“I don’t want to vote just to vote,” said Brittany Jean, a freshman broadcast journalism student and first-time voter. “I want my vote to be an educated one. I think it’s good to come to a watch party because everyone comes together to watch the debate.”
Harris said the turnout for the watch party was better than it was when it was held in Gaither on Oct. 3.
Akia Sembly, a senior theatre student, felt differently.
“I don’t understand why we have the agree/disagree sticks,” Sembly said. “I didn’t mind them. I just didn’t see the point.”
However, Sembly said she thought it was nice that students had the opportunity to view the debate together.
The next presidential debate, the last debate before the general election on Nov. 6, is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 9:30 p.m. in Boca Raton.