First Presidential Debate: “This Was A Boxing Match With Lots Of Sparring”

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – High spirits sounded Monday night as University of Maryland students gathered together to watch the first presidential debate between Democrat Nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Nominee Donald Trump.

Over 200 UMD students watched the first presidential candidate debate in the Hoff Theater at the Stamp Student Union. The event was hosted by University of Maryland College Republicans in association with Students for Liberty and College Democrats among other university groups.

“I would normally watch this on my laptop inside my dorm, but my roommates mentioned how it would be interesting to watch it together and discuss it as a group at the after party,” said Jean-Luque Zephir, a junior broadcast journalism major.

One of the most awaited topics for UMD students was education and college debt.

“There weren’t any satisfying responses,” said business major Vanessa Montiel.

“Most of my financial aid is loans, and I am planning on going to graduate school. Hillary briefly touched the subject, but not enough to go in depth and get a meaningful argument going. It is worrisome.”

Faculty also took part in the conversation on campus.

“It is a concern for all of us,” said Communications Professor Jessica Lu.

“Both Clinton and Trump needed to reach beyond their own ‘games’ and tap into the needs remaining,” Lu said.

Michael Spivey, an American politics professor, said “There were non-substantive arguments about student debt as are most debates. There was not a serious discussion of the issue related.”

Despite candidates’ efforts to reach young voters support, many students and faculty questioned whether or not candidates were actively thinking about their situation.

Students’ opinions were diverse as to which candidate won the debate.

Aliyah Downes a sophomore government and political science student said “It was madness on Trump’s part. Hillary was more factual and civil. I appreciate that she tried to appeal to the little guy and college students. Despite the interruptions, it was a clear win on her part.”

However, many students claimed Trump was the winner despite his setbacks. “He was born a winner,” said Ryan Morris, a member of Terps for Trump.

While students like Downes and Morris saw a clear win, many say there is much to be done by both candidates to win their vote.

“Undecided voters who have not yet found a positive reason to actively support one or the other at the polls in November will be the ones choosing the winners and losers of tonight,” said junior business and politics student Jayden Thompson.

“The only reliable indicator, I think, of the public’s response to this debate, and the others that will follow will arrive in November,” said Thompson.

Much anticipation is building up to the November election. The Vice Presidential Debate Watch will be hosted on Oct. 4 for UMD students to get involved and discuss the vice presidential candidates.


Post-election: UMD Students express their concerns and opinions

umcp-stamp-dining-1(University of Maryland students gather at Adele H. Stamp Student Union. Photo Credit: Henry Adams)

College Park, Md – While protests against President-elect Donald Trump have spread all over the country since Thursday, University of Maryland students are voicing their concerns and opinions on the election’s outcome.

What felt like it had nearly split the country in half, many agree that this election has been exhausting.

A few UMD students from College Park shared their opinions on how the United States can move forward as a united country.

Bruce Hoffman, a communications junior at the University of Maryland, woke up Wednesday sad and distressed.

“As a gay man, I am among one of the several demographic groups consistently targeted by Trump, his running mate, and a majority of Republicans who now have full control of Congress. I cannot speak for other groups, but I have a lot to lose personally regarding rights from a Trump presidency,” said Hoffman.

Through his comments on the election, Hoffman expressed his fear and anger about his voice not been valued by voters; that he, as a gay man, was at risk now for new forms of legal and social discrimination that may come as a result of the 2016 elections’ outcome.

“I feel overlooked by my peers who express platitudes of support for LGBT rights, but didn’t consider how policies of the people they vote for will hurt people like me in material ways,” Hoffman added.

Meanwhile, other students like Rubidania Arnaud, a biology sophomore, are not so sure about how to handle their thoughts on the new president-elect.

“I’m a little underwhelmed. I mean, somehow knew this was going to happen, but it feels so unreal [sic],” said Arnaud.

“Although I think people should just move on, I don’t know if the country can move on and overlook the things he boasted about during his campaign,” she said.

Like Arnaud, many students also find it hard for the country to move on and unite despite Clinton’s and Obama’s plea for unity. However, others still have hope.

Alex Park, an economics major, said, “The faster we move on, the better. It is just four years. The faster people wake up to reality the better it will be for all of us.”

“I did not support either candidate, but acting like it’s the end of the world or something is not healthy for anybody.”

As tensions grow, students wait to see the actions of the now president-elect, Donald J. Trump.

umd-studnets(University of Maryland students Vanessa Montiel (left) and Viany Reyes (right) as they express their thoughts and opinions on the post- 2016 elections. Photo Credit: Auris Guzman Bautista)

“I am scared about my health care situation, to be honest. I just want to wake up from this nightmare,” said Vanessa Montiel, a business major.

Many students woke up Wednesday stressed wondering what the future will hold for them.

Wallace D. Loh, President of the University of Maryland, sent an open letter the entire campus community calling for post-election unity in diversity.

“The divisive election is over, but the mission and core values of our University remain unchanged,” said the president.

In his letter, the university president said how unity is important now more than ever. Not only in times of political divide, but also in times of social and economic social divide.

He urges students “As a nation, we must come together, heal the wounds, and expand opportunity and mobility for all of our citizens.”

Moreover, The Stamp Union is providing space and other resources for the days ahead for students and anyone who needs post-election self-care.

“People are also encouraged to seek out Wags for Wellness at the Health Center tomorrow; the Labyrinth at the Memorial Chapel, and the Counseling Center as needed.”