Students Break Down the Debate
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On the St. John Fisher Campus, it was the talk of many classrooms.
"How many of you watched last night?" asked professor Tom Proietti.
The first time around, Presidential debate watching was professor Tom Proietti's assignment.
"One of the most interesting discussions I think almost all of us teaching have had is that we really have had to force our students to watch the debates. I think that's the big shock."
For debate number two, just a small portion of the class clicked their remotes toward the town hall grudge match between the candidates.
"I thought President Obama was strong last night. He came out a lot stronger the first time. The first one he was a little bit passive," said freshman Nathaniel Ligon.
"What was the strength? The quality of what he had to say? The way he had to say it?" Proietti asked.
"I just thought he was way stronger and you could tell when Governor Romney was starting to get nervous. He would interrupt and stuff and kept going at it," said Stephanie Hetelekides, sophomore.
Many students sat silently during the discussion. Proietti's not surprised.
"The general malaise a lot of my students are feeling probably gets passed on from their parents. That's where you get your political viewpoints from."
The students who didn't watch the debate has their reasons, everything from homework to watching the ALCS on TV. In Proietti's class, exactly 50 percent of students said they will vote in the upcoming election.
"The other half already have the disenchantment factor working, saying it doesn't matter who gets elected."
Or at the very least, a feeling their vote doesn't matter.
"In New York, the electoral college is obviously going to go for Democrats so even if I was going to vote for Obama, it wouldn't make a difference. Or Mitt Romney," said Mitchell Brown, freshman.
"One of the things that happens during debates is you start seeing people under pressure and you realize maybe they're lying 40 percent of the time," Proietti said.
Proietti says his students get a lot of their political information from social media, which can be good. If it's through second hand information, not so good. In 2008, Democrats in particular went after the younger crowd. Four years later, Proietti says that's not the case.
"In 2008 it was very cool to be into politics and Barack Obama, This year not so cool."