Anteaters Turn Political at ASUCI’s Second Presidential Debate Viewing
A step up from the overcrowded First Presidential Debate Anthill Pub Party, the ASUCI outdoor, big-screen viewing of the Second Presidential Debate, at the Student Center Terrace Tuesday night, gave UCI students an open atmosphere in which to ridicule Romney’s deflections and applaud Obama’s high-priority for college education.
“Our vision for this event was exactly this. We will no longer be seen as an apolitical campus,” Andrea Gaspar, Executive Vice President ASUCI, fourth year Chicano Latino and International studies major, said looking at the students stirring in discussion about the debate as it played on the big screen.
ASUCI hosted its first Election Event Series throughout October, bringing this year’s Presidential Election issues to light and making an aggressive attempt at student voter registration.
According to Gaspar, ASUCI got 2,500 UCI students to register to vote this fall, with a goal of 4,000 by the 22nd.
Gaspar said this big-screen event was the key to make the Event Series known across campus.
“Although I don’t come to other school events, I am impressed by this one. I think they’ve done a great job,” Saba Sedighi third year, Public Health Policy major.
Nearly 90 students attended ASUCI’s second Election Series event, but this time, there was room for the large turnout.
The Pub Presidential Debate Party on Oct. 3, turned the debate watch into and overcrowded social banter soon after the debate commenced because a lacking sound system and loud happy-hour groups left the televised debate inaudible. However, this first event helped spark students’ interest in the election, gathering a larger crowed for the second debate watch.
ASUCI invited anteaters to pledge to vote, enjoy free tamales, and settle in for the distressing entertainment of the debate. ASUCI also handed out fortune cookies saying “the ballot is stronger than the bullet,” and “know your poll site.”
“I really enjoyed the food, atmosphere; overall it is an engaging environment to learn about policies that’ll effect our life. Only downside, no beer,” Collin Person, 3rd year Film and Media Studies major said.
Students clustered toward the center of terrace tables, ridiculing their opponent candidates, and even jumping up to shout out when the town hall debate turned aggressive.
While President Obama was forced to defend his lack of economic improvement in the last for years, Romney chose the deflection technique against questions thrown at him by Moderator Candy Crowley and the town hall audience members.
To the question of how Governor Romney was different from George W. Bush, Romney immediately refracted.
“And I appreciate that question. I just want to make sure that, I think I was supposed to get that last answer,” Romney said, before he pointed out that he did not in fact get the last answer.
This is was not the first of Romney’s doubt of the rules; his distractions were most often complaints about who got the last word.
“No, he actually got the first question. So I get the last question, last answer on that one,” Romney said to Crowley.
Students, who’s attention was drawn to the big screen by the candidates’ bickering, howled “boo” and “oh nooo” moans at Romney’s deflections.
Romney eventually answered the question by repeating his list of five solutions as his differences between him and former President George W. Bush: energy self-efficiency, trade regulation in China and expansion in Latin America, balancing the budget, throwing out Obamacare, and championing small businesses.
“Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan; and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules,” Obama said.
Obama wasn’t without his own complaints, as he attempted to check if the timekeepers were doing their jobs.
However, Romney’s mistakes drew a more vocal disapproval from the anteaters at the student center.
“My passion probably flows from the fact that I believe in God, and I believe we’re all children of the same God,” Romney said.
“Separation of church and state man,” shouted a student whose outcry was followed by muffled cheers.
Alex Guardado, Works Supervisor ASUCI, third year Public Health Science major, reminded the opinionated students to “tell all your friends to register to vote, and go out and vote on election day because you all know the issues that are important to us as students, you know about all the different propositions, and what we need to do to advance our school.”
ASUCI continues the voting hype with more Election Series events through November 5, including “Hot Topics Debate” for and against Mitt Romney winning the 2012 Presidential Election, the third Presidential Debate Watch, Civil Rights in the Age of Neoliberalism, Early Voting, and Get Out the Vote Festival.