Pub Debate Party

First Presidential Debate Watch Party draws large number of students at the Anthill Pub.

Politically-intrigued students filled the Anthill Pub last Wednesday night for the first ASUCI & AGS Election Event Series Presidential Debate Watch party.

“I’m ecstatic to see the campus get involved in the upcoming election,” Alex Williams, a fourth-year biological sciences student, said.

The Presidential Debate watch parties and discussions concern topics such as voter registration, which gives students the voice they need to make the change they want to see in the UC school system and other corresponding higher education reform.

The night’s events did not end with the televised debates. Irvine mayor Sukhee Kang visited with his campaign crew to talk with students about their concerns and what issues he seeks to address.

“It is always important to have that balanced discussion to bring people together, whether Democrat or Republican,” he said.

The ASUCI Voter Registration team has made it a goal to register as many students as possible by the deadline on Oct. 22, encouraging students to register on campus with booths set up every day on Ring Road and at major events.

The Anthill Pub was filled with students buying food and drinks in preparation for the debate.

“The pub was exceedingly loud, but the atmosphere was electric with the anticipation of what everyone knew to be a critical point in a landmark election, one that could change the student life as we know it,” Nam Doan said.

Mayor Kang said he was pleased to see such an overwhelming turnout of students interested in participating in the current political discussion.

“It is very important that we get students interested,” he said. “America is built on democracy. The most trying of the responsibilities we have is to vote.”

One of the big talking points during the debate and part of the political buzz on campus is the issue of funding for education.

“Today was proof politics are not dead among educated youth,” fourth-year Matthew Elmaraghi said.

For California students, the fate of a mid-year tuition increase of 20.4 percent and automatic trigger cuts of $250 million to the UC system are hinging on Proposition 30 .

“The number of people that showed up to our event is a clear refutation of irresponsible allegations that the UCI student body is politically disengaged,”  Justin Chung, the Associated Graduate Students president, said. “Legislators take note, we care and we [will] vote.”

Mayor Kang echoed the importance of education for the country’s welfare.

“Education is the cornerstone of our country,” he said. “Education is a premier above all else.”

This is just the first of a series of on-campus events to inform students and voters about important election issues.

Upcoming events include a Presidential Debate viewing party at the UCI Student Center Terrace on Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Foreign Policy Debate watch on Oct. 22, also at the Student Center Terrace at 5:30 p.m.