SGA hosts College Democrats and College Republicans debate

Chelsey Fisher

Vice chair of the college republicans senior Wesley Gwinn makes a statement at the college democrat and republican debate Wednesday night in the Blue Ridge Ballroom. Josh Farmer | The AppalachianThe College Republicans and College Democrats held a debate Oct. 31 in Belk Library.

The debate, hosted by SGA, was rescheduled due to bad weather from Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week.

During the debate, each side got two minutes to respond to a question, then a 30-second rebuttal from the opposing team. This was followed by a two-minute crossfire during which the teams were allowed to debate at will.

The issues covered during the debate were the economy, education, energy, foreign policy and Amendment One. After the intermission, audience questions were accepted and answered in the same format.

“Even outside of undecided voters, this just helps people in their everyday decisions,” Sean Ridley, director of debates and moderator for the debate, said.”People are going to be confronted with these issues and they need to know what the positions are.”

Both sides had suggestions to make the debate better next time.

Chairperson for College Republicans Kelsey Crum wished there was more time during the crossfire, she said.

“I would suggest a three-minute crossfire,” Crum said. “But, on most issues we were able to get our point across.”

President of College Democrats Lia Poteet said she wished each side was more civil during the debate.

“It wasn’t as civil as I would like, but the point is we are still friends afterwards,” Poteet said. “Even though it gets heated, it’s because we are passionate about the issues.”

Throughout the debate, the audience reaction was mixed. At moments, one half of the room or the other would laugh or clap. But, the debate seemed to be more entertainment than information.

“I feel like they both digressed from a lot of the issues and went back to a lot of major talking points instead of really answering the question,” Rachel Clay, sophomore chemistry major said. “I didn’t really learn anything I didn’t already know.”

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Senior News Reporter