‘Trumped up’ or ‘just business?’

Ferris Political Engagement Project hosts the first presidential debate

Students attending the presidential debate watch party were given free cutouts of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the spirit of the event.
Students attending the presidential debate watch party were given free cutouts of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the spirit of the event. Photo by: Andrea Cordes | Torch Photographer

Political tensions continue to grow as the presidential election makes it’s way around the corner and Bulldogs are not immune.

On Monday, Sept. 26, the Ferris Political Engagement Project (PEP) hosted a showing of the first presidential debate in UC 202C starting at 8:30 p.m. The event provided pizza, pop and candy while streaming the debate live from CNN.

The room was overflowing with students from all sides of the political spectrum, some even standing out in the hall to get a glimpse of the candidates going head to head.

Ferris computer networking and software junior Alexander Wymer is planning on voting for Trump this November.

“I feel like he’d probably do a much better job than Hillary and I just don’t like Hillary. She’s a little shady to me,” Wymer said. “I think Trump will win, but the media tries to portray that Hillary will win.”

Wymer decided to attend Ferris’ Political Engagement Project’s debate viewing party in the University Center to gauge the political leanings of students around him.

“I just want to see how the students around campus react to both politicians. I’d like to see if there are more people here for Trump or Hillary,” Wymer said.

Ferris biology freshman Alan Schultz plans on deviating from both of the two major political parties when casting his vote, as his support lies with Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

“I don’t really trust either [Trump or Clinton] and I wouldn’t like either of them to be my president, but obviously one of them will be,” Schultz said.

Schultz—a Democrat—admits that voting third party could lead to a Trump presidency.

“I’m okay with inadvertently giving the presidency to Donald Trump because I think that happy people don’t revolt. We have to hit rock bottom before anyone wants to turn things around,” Schultz said. “If we have a figure who was a racist, and a xenophobe and a homophobe who wanted to close our borders and not welcome other people, then I think it could finally be so right in our face that people would get sick of the hate and want to change it.”

Despite the high tensions, students of both parties remained civil and respectful inside the room as they watched intently. Laughter occasionally filled the room upon snide comments or interruptions of a candidate, and attendees were given free Clinton or Trump cut-outs to raise in support of either candidate, which also lightened the mood.

“I’m voting for Trump because I feel like he could really change the country and definitely take it out of the turmoil it has been in under President Obama and I feel like he definitely tells the truth more than Hillary does and I feel like he knows what he’s doing,” said Ferris student Shena Meyer. “I agree with a lot of his principles.”

Shana Schanler, the administrative assistant of PEP, estimated that roughly 138 students attended the screening of the debate and encourages more students to join PEP over Qdoba during the upcoming debates.

“There’s one on [Wednesday] October 19th, that is the second presidential debate. There’s one on [Tuesday] October 4th, which is the Vice Presidental Debate, which both will be over in IRC 109.” Schandler said. “Once we get rolling, I like to give people a little different genre of food as well.”

Students who would like to find out more information about PEP can go to ferris.edu/pep/.