Isabella Tagliati ’19
On Oct. 19, the Smith Bipartisan Coalition hosted the third debate watch viewing party in the Campus Center’s Carol Room. This event was put on in collaboration with the Smith Democrats and Smith’s Government department. The room was packed with people, seeing as many Smith students made the effort to come out to this event despite it being the midst of midterm season. That night was constituted as the candidates’ last formal debate before approaching voting day, Nov. 8.
The much-anticipated third and final presidential debate occurred on The University of Nevada’s campus in Las Vegas. There was no scarcity of weighty questions, passionate responses and grammar mistakes, similar to in past debates. The debate was expected to cover topics like +foreign policy, immigration and the supreme court. All of these pertinent subjects were touched upon at some level, but the debate had many tangents that took candidates off course. Some redirections reached concerns of reproductive and health rights, while others addressed Trump’s heinous reputation towards the treatment of women and the now 9+ allegations of sexual assault filed against the republican candidate. It was a lively debate on and off stage. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News had to remind the audience to refrain from vocalizing cheers of support or disdain in an effort to maintain an unbiased viewing for watchers.
The debate viewing party was as intense as it was exciting. Around 8:45 p.m., people began trickling in and grabbing a doughnuts (the signature treat of most Bipartisan Coalition events) on their way to finding a seat. As the candidates walked onto the stage, a quietness absorbed the room. Smith students sat, eyes glued to the projector screen, listening and watching intently. This atmosphere was broken a handful of times as students reacted vocally to responses and statements made by both candidates. Those statements included Clinton’s defense of women’s health and reproductive rights and her acute defenses of her career and experience, Trump’s support of disenfranchising Supreme Court decisions surrounding women’s health and reproductive rights and his defense of his ‘Wall.’
Attendee of the viewing event, Caroline Choi’19 said, “the debate moved into familiar territory after 30 minutes. The whole debate really, was undermined by Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election. Entertaining, but disappointing.”
Just prior to the debate the Smith Bipartisan Coalition held an interview with Senator Eric Lesser. Bipartisan Coalition press coordinator Molly Eldevik ’19 sat down with Senator Lesser to talk about Lesser’s feelings towards bipartisanship, millennial participation in politics and how to better the quality of life and economic opportunities for Massachusetts residents. Senator Lesser also spoke about his experiences working as an aid for the Obama administration, the importance of presidential debates and some personal anecdotes about his family, snacks and college memories. The interview was live streamed on the Bipartisan Coalition’s Facebook page before the debate and is still available for viewing.