University of New Haven students watch and learn from debate

WTNH/Renee Chmiel

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Students on the University of New Haven campus came together to watch the final presidential debate on Wednesday night. There were two viewing parties on campus. The Black Student Union hosted a party in the student center. News 8 stopped by the the watch party that communications students were invited to attend.

Professors were hoping students would participate in the discussion just as they normally would in the classroom.

“We’re expecting them to participate in any meaningful way, to ask questions, to make comments,” said Professor of Communication Steve Raucher.

Students also participated online. The watch party had its own hashtag that students were asked to use when they tweeted about the debate.

“Normally we don’t encourage that during class but we will be during tonight’s program,” said Raucher.

The political process is something students have been talking about in the classroom. Many of the students at the viewing party were assigned something to pay attention to during the debate. Some looked at the candidates’ body language, others were fact checking.

“My professor had told us how campaign promises aren’t really expected to be followed up on and that influences a lot of voting,” said UNH student Chazz Mair.

The students were not required to attend the viewing party; they attended because they wanted to. It was not related to an assignment. The debate is something that students on campus have been talking about.

“It’s interesting because it’s one of the first debates I’ve ever watched,” said UNH student Sequiera Lavender. “Before when Obama was running I didn’t really watch them that much.”

Students were not the only ones watching and learning from the debate – and from the 2016 campaign.

“This is a great learning opportunity for professors like me to be able to explain what the consequences are for action and inaction,” said Chris Haynes, Assistant Professor & Political Science Program Coordinator.

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