On the heels of a beautiful fall day, the Rowan Republicans and the Rowan Democrats held their third annual political debate in the Chamberlain Student Center.
Moderated by “The Whit” News Editor Alexander Heller and supported by the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC), the debate was an opportunity for both groups to showcase their ideals.
The debate featured four major topics: gun control, impeachment, immigration, and education.
According to Santino D’Agostino, President of the Rowan College Republicans, both groups did fairly well in sticking to these topics in an informative manner.
“We all really want to work towards progress… we just have different ways of going about it,” D’Agostino said, “This one was defnitely more informative [than previous debates], we really hashed out the issues.”
Events like this are undoubtedly important to everyone involved, and getting involved with politics is a good idea, says Hafiza Kazi, President of the Rowan Democrats.
“I found that as being a first generation American, political participation is very important,” Said Kazi. “It’s important that you do your civic duty as an American.”
Sophomore political science major and member of the Rowan Republicans Mike Campana also sees political involvement as a necessity.
“You have to be politically active,” said Campana. “Eventually you’re gonna get involved with politics in some way or another, because no matter what job you do, politics is going to interfere with it.”
While there were times when the arguments became heated, the debate did not take the form of a feud between the groups.
Michael Cianci, a senior international studies major and member of the Rowan Democrats, believes that the debate was more informative than anything.
Cianci said, “Neither of us are trying to win, we’re trying to inform the larger audience.”
While the debate did stay mostly informative, this is not to say that it was free of intense arguments, the majority of which occurring during the immigration portion.
Cianci had this to say about the civility of the debate.
“Immigration was obviously the least civil part of the debate, but it happens. It wasn’t egregiously uncivil,” Cianci said. “[The debate in general] was very civil.”
While they may have little benefit to the informative qualities of a debate, occasional heated arguments are necessary for keeping the viewers engaged and entertained, says Campana.
“Nobody came here to be bored because we were just spouting off facts constantly,” said Campana. “You’ve got to argue with some emotion because that’s what gets people involved.”
The President of the Rowan Republicans acknowledged the lack of civility at times, but also noted that neither side came into the debate with bad intentions.
“Politics is just heated naturally,” said D’Agostino. “I know that no one here is really looking to hurt anybody. We all want to make America a better place.”
Debate spectator Ryan Clair, a junior music composition major, also thinks that politics and heated arguments typically go hand-in-hand, and that this debate was nothing out of the ordinary.
“Overall I did enjoy the debate,” said Clair. “I don’t think there was really that big of a problem with civility. Of course, in debates like this it can get a little bit passionate on both sides.”
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