"The coolest thing was meeting people from other states and discovering what we have in common and how we are different. Whether democrat or republican, everybody was on the same page."
Springfield, MA (PRWEB) September 29, 2016
Last spring, American International College (AIC) students Jazmine Baehr of Torrington, CT and Alexander Clark of Mashpee, MA were awarded coveted spots in College Debate 2016. Nationally, only 137 students were selected to participate. Massachusetts had a total of only three delegates with AIC junior Baehr and senior Clark honored.
College Debate 2016: “The Leaders of Today” is a first of its kind initiative created by Dominican University in San Rafael, CA to provide college students throughout the country with a platform to discuss and debate the complex issues facing the nation. Dominican is a Voter Education Partner for the Commission on Presidential Debates.
In June, delegates gathered at the University for a two-day Workshop to discuss topics ranging from innovation, civility, and digital media to developing strategies to engage Millennials and increase voter turnout. Students were responsible for developing social media campaigns to reach out to as many of their peers as possible during the summer months. One million users were reached on Facebook alone through sharing.
Delegates returned to Dominican in September for a moderated town hall meeting, live-streamed to campuses across the United States. During the town hall, students were tasked with agreeing on key issues and creating very specific questions for the presidential candidates to address. These questions revolved around five key topics: civil rights, the economy, education, foreign policy, and immigration. Students were charged with respectfully debating, painstakingly crafting, and ultimately formulating six questions that would be presented to the moderators of the 2016 presidential debates.
Baehr recently learned that her team’s question on the economy has been selected for one of the upcoming Presidential debates. It will be read by the moderator and asks, “How would you restructure government assistance programs for unemployed or impoverished people to obtain self-sufficiency?” According to Baehr, “Delegates wanted to give questions that the candidates can’t dance around. Questions that demanded an answer, but were open ended enough for an honest response, not a scripted answer.”
When asked about his most memorable experience as part of the bipartisan effort Clark says, “The coolest thing was meeting people from other states and discovering what we have in common and how we are different. Whether democrat or republican, everybody was on the same page.”