In anticipation of the upcoming gubernatorial runoff between incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican candidate Eddie Rispone, the university College Democrats will host the Blue Meets Red governor’s debate, inviting the university College Republicans to the forum.
The event, which will be held on Wednesday Nov. 13 in Student Union Room 2203, will feature a panel of students from both organizations answering questions regarding both gubernatorial candidates.
The debate is designed to make students aware of where both candidates stand on the issues facing our state and their plans to address them. At the end of the debate, the audience will decide which side won the debate.
Rachel Selman, a freshman accounting major, will be representing the College Republicans during the debate. She explained what issues will be debated.
“Each group will be discussing how their candidate plans to advance education, increase revenue, prevent natural disasters using infrastructure and bring positive changes to Louisiana,” said Selman. “Then, each group gets to ask the other group a random question regarding their candidate.”
Selman encouraged students to attend the debate so they can educate themselves on the issues and form an opinion on the topics discussed.
“Hopefully, this will help persuade them to vote for one or the other candidate,” shared Selman. “Hopefully, it will also open people’s minds to become more open about their beliefs and political party and not be afraid to say something about what they believe.”
Travis Thompson, a sophomore industrial technology major, will be participating in the debate. Thompson shared why he believes it is important to have a discussion with the Southeastern College Democrats.
“Although we may have different views, we both care about our state,” shared Thompson. “It is important at times to reach across the aisle and see what the other side believes.”
Daniel Seither, a junior biological sciences major and secretary of the College Republicans, explained that he feels it is important to discuss these issues with the College Democrats.
“It is important to discuss this topic with the College Democrats so that we can understand each other’s point of view and come out of the debate better informed,” said Seither.
Seither feels that the current political climate does not encourage these kinds of important conversations which he feels are necessary to prevent division.
“Instead of talking amongst our own groups and developing biased stigmas against each other, we can hear each other’s view and try to find common ground,” shared Seither. “We can turn away from the divisive status quo of modern politics.”
He also hopes the debate will lead to an understanding of each candidate, so studentscan be better educated when they vote in the runoff election.
“It is also beneficial to inform the audience so that they can have a better idea of which candidate they would like to support,” explained Seither. “Many students are either uninformed or misinformed about politics and many don’t have an interest. We hope this debate will encourage students to have a voice in government and go out and vote.”