Less than one week ago, I walked around the Student Union speaking to students about who they were planning on voting for this election season.
And there seemed to be a consistent theme– apathy. Most of the students were either not willing to speak about their political views out of fear of coming off as unintelligent or they did not care enough to vote.
Fast-forward a week later and I wanted to see if much had changed. I spoke to marketing major David Jordan right outside the Student Union Theater after a screening of the debates in the theater.
We talked about this event (which he had planned) in the theater to get students engaged with the debates. The debate screening was the last event of his series on this season’s election.
Jordan seemed a bit frustrated by how little UNC Charlotte students care about the election.
“I advertised the debate screening during the movies, but students are so apathetic to do anything political-wise,” he said. There were a little less than ten people present in the theater that night. On any night when the Student Union screens a hollywood movie, the theater is almost full.
Although Jordan’s work prevented him from talking to me about how he felt the debates went, I managed to have individual conversations with the students who attended the screening as they were filtering out.
Here’s what they had to say:
Political Science Major
Ross gave the advantage to President Barack Obama, citing that he felt that the moderator had to police Mitt Romney’s rhetoric more closely.
As I spoke to UNC Charlotte students, many of them made strong indications that they had made character judgements on the way the two presidential candidates treated the moderator.
Ross went on the express a concern that moderator may have shown favortism toward Obama.
This seemed particularly evident when the two candidates argued over what Obama had said regarding the terror attacks in Libya.
Osler gave the debate to Obama.
“He followed Biden’s lead from the vice presidential debates last week. And he was a lot more aggressive,” she said.
She also applauded the president’s willingness to “call out” Mitt Romney on some of the statements that he made that may not have been consistent with previous statements.
Olser explained that she was unhappy with the way Romney often avoided the questions at hand.
I asked her if she felt that Obama did the same thing. She replied that he may have, but not as often and deliberately as Romney.
Nguyen called night two a draw, after admitting that Romney won the first debate.
The economics major feels that Obama has experience on his side and that while Romney may make radical campaign claims, he might not be able to live up to them if he is elected president.
Nguyen did mention that Obama’s policies and actions the past four years did not reflect some of the promises he made this season. But he feels that Obama may be more proactive if given a second term.
Nguyen acknowledged that both candidates were trying their best to appeal to the middle class.
Gladu described the second presidential debate as a draw. She admitted that Obama had improved his rhetoric tremendously from the previous debate.
She believes that Obama is a very effective speaker, but she didn’t feel that this had come out in the first debate.
Gladu explained that the Democratic candidate was more aggressive the second debate.
Many students who I have spoken to this election season have seemed more focused on the way the two candidates compose themselves in the debates more than the content of their words.