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College Republicans, Democrats encourage students to get involved as final presidential debate appro

Belmont’s political organizations are gearing up for the university-hosted presidential debate – and they encourage students to get engaged with current election issues.

Although the College Democrats and College Republicans sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum, they both acknowledge the importance of young people participating in the upcoming presidential election.

“I think it’s a pretty important election because of the Supreme Court and all the other factors that are at play right now,” said Cassi Phillips, president of College Republicans at Belmont.

Bailyn Dupont, president of the College Democrats, also believes this election could have a big impact on students’ lives.

“Look at both of the candidates and ask, ‘Which one provides an equitable, or close to equitable, lifestyle for us coming out of college?’” said Dupont.

Issues like debt forgiveness, policing and racial justice, COVID-19 mask mandates and climate change should be at the forefront of students’ minds when they vote, Dupont said.

“Donald Trump’s policy and platform doesn’t include student loan relief and Joe Biden’s does. A lot of our students have loans, so I think that’s really important to look at,” said Dupont.

Phillips urges students to look at issues like healthcare and economic growth to prepare themselves for life after graduation.

“If you’re a graduating senior, that’s what you will look for because you have to get off all your parent’s bills, find healthcare, get a job, and start paying taxes. That’s what I look for,” said Phillips.

Both Phillips and Dupont agree that research is an important part of keeping yourself informed before Election Day, or even before sitting down to watch the debate.

“Inform yourself as a voter. A lot of people don’t really go out and look up policies and what each candidate is about,” said Phillips. “But if you’re not into watching the news or looking up policies, watching the debate is the best way to do it.”

Before tuning in to the debate, Dupont recommends looking at both of the candidates’ websites to learn about their platforms. She also suggests using online resources like PolitiFact to fact check information.

“PolitiFact basically has a list on where a candidate stands on every single issue, with quotes from them and things they’ve done in the past,” said Dupont. “That way, you can hold candidates accountable for things that they’ve said.”

The final presidential debate will play an important role in helping voters make their decision, said Dupont.

“Largely, these debates are about people who are undecided, people who don’t know who they are going to vote for or feel like don’t know enough about either candidate of the party they subscribe to,” said Dupont.

The Oct. 22 event also holds its importance in its proximity to Election Day, said Phillips.

“It’s gonna be pretty intense, probably, because it will be two weeks away from Election Day. They’ll be asking the most important questions,” said Phillips.

“That’s the most important hour and a half for that candidate, the last debate.”

This article written by Kendall Crawford.

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