By Stella Katsipoutis-Varkanis

Lafayette Votes!—a nonpartisan organization led by Landis Center for Community Engagement, students, and faculty that is dedicated to encouraging students to make their voices heard at the polls—hosted a socially distant watch party on Sept. 29 as the presidential candidates took the stage for the first debate of the 2020 election. All Lafayette students were invited to attend.

“Normally, student-led clubs host their own on-campus events or have debate parties together,” says Charlie Brownstein ’21, a geology and government & law double-major and Lafayette Votes! member. “Obviously, COVID-19 has made that difficult to do, so this was a great opportunity for students both on and off campus to be able to have discussions and ask questions during the debate.”  

Some student participants donned their masks and gathered to watch in person at Farinon College Center, and others listened in online as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden engaged in a fiery head-to-head match over critical topics like COVID-19, racial justice, and climate change.

“Politics affect so many aspects of our lives,” Brownstein says. “Students at Lafayette come from all different backgrounds and have wildly different life experiences, thus we are all impacted by politics in varying ways. Discussions like these allow students to understand the real effects that policy may have on their peers and friends, allow for more empathy towards each other, and hopefully serve to lessen the partisan divide.” 

The watch party was part of a series of events held by Lafayette Votes! in an effort to get more students to cast their vote on Election Day. Landis Center shares that even though 86% of students were registered to vote in the 2016 election, only 45% exercised their right. 

“This shows that students have the right intentions, and just don’t always follow through,” Brownstein explains. “A lot is at stake in this election. The ability to keep the campus engaged through Nov. 3 is hugely important, and events like this give us the power to do just that.”

Engaged Community

Election 2020

Lafayette students, faculty, and staff have shared expertise and encouraged conversation during the 2020 political season

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Categorized in: Featured News, Landis Center, News and Features, Students

1 Comment

  1. Виталий says:

    Students come to Lafayette to earn a degree in a field they feel passionate about. They leave with a wider view of the world, a multitude of alumni connections, and higher earning potential.

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