By EVAN HARRELL
The Student Government Association and the Georgetown Activities Council held a Mock Presidential Debate Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 in the John L. Hill Chapel at 11 a.m. The event was a Nexus credit, and it was in a style similar to a town hall format. The moderators were Megan Norris from SGA and Evan Jacoby from GAC. Over 90 students were in attendance.
Dr. Stephen Mergner was the Republican representative while Dr. Melissa Scheier represented the Democrats. As topics were presented to each side, the proponents detailed their candidate’s platform on the issue. The topics discussed were: budget and taxes; employment; and education. It was intended for more issues to be discussed, but the professors spent more time than the moderators had originally planned.
Each side was also given a two-minute period for closing arguments. For this, two student representatives from College Democrats and College Republicans took the stage. The representative for College Democrats was Meredith Scalos, and the College Republican representative was Hayden Summers.
There was a Twitter account created just for the debate, and students could tweet @GCDebate to ask the representatives questions. Several in the audience chose to ask questions about student loans, a topic that is very relevant and could possibly have an impact on students’ futures.
When it came to employment, Mergner said the Obama administration had been given four years already and that they were “out of ammunition.” He also stated that corporations are the job creators in an economy, and by making them feel secure, they would be comfortable enough to make investments. Scheier disagreed that the nation was out of options and pointed out the President’s Recovery Act and DREAM Act, both of which put Americans to work. She also pointed out his belief in systems that put students into internship and job shadowing positions such as the College’s Graves Center for Calling and Career.
At the beginning of the debate, a vote was taken via ballot among the students. The options were Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and Undecided. After counting the ballots, Norris said the votes were: 47 Romney, 31 Obama and 12 Undecided. She also mentioned SGA and GAC would be sponsoring another mock election. It will be online, and students will be able to vote through the My Georgetown portal.