FAMU’s NAACP hosts political debate

The first 2008 presidential debate will not be until the end of the month, but Florida A&M University hosted a debate of it’s own.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People meeting hosted a debate between Democratic and Republican students on Thursday.

“Americans have lost faith in our leadership,” said Mario Henderson, a fourth year political science student from Daytona Beach. “We need to put trust back into the White House, so we can have trust in our leadership. I strongly believe that Obama and Biden will restore the trust in the White House.”

Henderson represented Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the debate.  There was not an empty space in the room.

Christopher Weaver, a senior criminal justice student from Pompano Beach and republican came to defend his presidential pick.

“I knew I was coming to speak opposing a room filled with democrats, but I decided to do it anyway,” Weaver said.

Many students respected Weaver’s knowledge and confidence throughout the debate even though he represented an opposing party.

Nayendra Dabresil, a third year democratic biology pre-med student from Miami, was one of those students.

“I feel Chris Weaver did an awesome job representing the republicans in a room filled with democrats that had to be a tough job to do,” Dabresil said.

Students listened carefully on the edge of their chairs as the debate heated up the room, covering topics such as healthcare, education and the current state of the economy.

Brandon J. Smith, a second year democratic pharmacy student and part of the E-board committee for the NAACP said both students did a great job during the debate.

“Both of the students represented their party well, they were knowledgeable about the topics they covered and both had very good points; the healthcare topic intrigued me the most,” Smith said.

“It’s time to put government back in your hands where it belongs. Our economy is going down the toilet, there’s only one candidate telling you yes we can,” Henderson said. “There’s only one candidate ready for the position and that’s Senator Barack Obama. Bush-McCain, same old thing.”  

The opposing side rebutted.

“Senator McCain has not supported all of Bush’s actions and is a lot more moderate,” Weaver said.

 Rashad Gunthrop, a non-party affiliated third year political science student from Ft Lauderdale said he was proud of the debate,

“Overall the debate was very informative for people who are not up on the election and politics,” Gunthrop said. “It was good to see so many of our students come out and support the event.”

More information on the national organization can be found on www.naacp.org.