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St. Bonaventure University’s College Democrats and College Republicans will square off in a mock presidential debate at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Walsh Center Auditorium.
Students will play the roles of the five leading candidates in the two major parties: Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
A faculty moderator and panelists from the campus student media will ask questions of the candidates. The debate is free and open to the public. (The Walsh Center is on the west side of campus.)
“This is really unlike anything that’s been done at SBU in the 16 years that I’ve been here,” said Dr. Chris Stanley, faculty adviser to the College Democrats. “We plan to make it as much like a TV debate as possible.”
SBU-TV will film the debate and archive it for later airing on the campus TV station, while a journalism student will live tweet the event using #SBUDebate.
Stanley said both groups chose student negotiating teams to work on the dynamics of the debate.
“It’s really been a good, hands-on experience,” Stanley said. “The intent of this isn’t to embarrass people with ‘gotcha’ questions but to educate students about the issues in advance of the presidential primary in New York on April 19.”
Without knowing the specific questions to be asked, the student candidates will prepare in advance on the following five issues: foreign policy, taxes, immigration, heath care, and race and crime.
Each candidate will have three minutes to answer a question, with each of the other four candidates given one minute for rebuttal, Stanley said.
For more information, contact Stanley at 375-2454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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