Students host televised viewings of presidential debates on campus

To promote public discourse on the 2012 presidential election, rhetoric and media studies students at Willamette University are hosting the DebateWatch Project in October.

On Oct. 3, 16 and 22, Salem and Willamette community members are invited to join the students as they watch televised broadcasts of President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, who are expected to debate issues ranging from the economy to the national deficit.

The goal, says Devin Leonardi ’13, is to give people a forum to articulate their viewpoints, hear others’ opinions and potentially develop new ideas on current issues and policies.

"We need to bring back deliberation and debate in a way that positively affects the way we make decisions," Leonardi says. "That is exactly the sort of thing that this event promotes."

The debate watches and following small-group discussions will run from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m. each day. The first event will take place in the Montag Den, while the following two are scheduled in the Alumni Lounge at the University Center.

Refreshments will be provided.