Student Government to hold non-partisan debate watch party at Hippodrome

Dr. Brad Owens, senior lecturer in the department of journalism, public relations and new media, held a debate watch party for the first debate on Sept. 26. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Brooke Bentley | Reporter

After a record-breaking 84 million viewers tuned into the first presidential debate and 63 million to the second debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will have their final head-to-head meeting before the presidential election in November at 8 p.m. tonight.

Providing free popcorn and drinks, Baylor student government will hold an open watch party at 7:30 p.m. at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre. Students are encouraged to watch the debate and stay afterwards for a post-debate lecture and group discussion led by Dr. Patrick Flavin, an associate professor of political science.

“We’re hoping that there will be a very large turnout from multiple different organizations and students who are looking to become more informed about the election and the electoral process,” said Old River-Winfree junior Joel Polvado, internal vice president.

Polvado said student government members hope this non-partisan watch party will allow students to voice their opinions freely among their peers, regardless of their political affiliation.

“This will be a good opportunity for people to express their thoughts and what they really care about,” said Longview senior Marivious Allen, Baylor College Republicans co-chairman. “Hopefully, we can have open discussion during that time between different ideologies in a coherent manner.”

The event’s post-debate lecture and open discussion is meant to allow students to engage with others on topics such as the importance of the debates and the election, what students thought and how each side has been strategizing over the course of the election.

“Students should be civilly engaged and have their voice heard, so I think it’s really important for students to become informed, regardless of whether they are voting for one of the major party candidates,” Polvado said.

Student government has invited the Baylor College Republicans as well as the Baylor Democrats but also welcomes all other organizations and individuals that wish to attend.

“I’m glad that we can sit down together and watch this debate without pulling each other’s hair, hopefully,” Allen said.