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Students gather for final presidential debate watch party

Written By Nikole Kost

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A standing room only crowd gathered at the Center for Media Innovation Wednesday, exactly 20 days before Election Day, as students and community members came together for a watch party for the third and final presidential debate.

About 50 attendees assembled in the CMI to illuminate each candidate’s views on the six tops of debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hot spots, and fitness to be present.

The 90-minute debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ashley Murray, graduate assistant at the Center of Media for Innovation, organized the second and third debate watch parties.

“I really want students to think about what the candidates are saying in this debate,” she said.

Dr. Tim Hudson, professor in the School of Communication, spoke a half-hour before the debate explaining the job of the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Hudson also talked about how the candidates would discuss foreign hot spots and foreign policy.

When the debate began, one of the discussions pertained to Wikileaks releasing Clinton’s emails.

Sexual harassment and assault were once again brought up against Trump in the third debate.

Freshman broadcast reporting major Ashley Morris is a registered republican, but said she is voting for third party candidate Gary Johnson.

“For victims of sexual abuse, ‘locker room talk’ should never be something to joke about,” Morris said.

Morris voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary.

Another talking point in the debate was the economy.

Troy Potter, an M.B.A. student with a concentration in global management, is voting for Trump in this election.

“Trump is the only candidate that said he’s going to put money into inner cities,” Potter said. “If our country keeps growing at a 1 percent growth rate, we will soon not be able to afford the safety nets we have.”

Brandon Cross, a junior broadcast production major, thought both candidates knew exactly what they were talking about.

“Trump did a really good job at showing what he really knows to a point, and Hilary should know what she was talking about, giving that she was the former Secretary of State,” Cross said.

“I was happy that they went into more specifics about their foreign policy, their views on the retaking of Mosul and that they expanded more on foreign policy in the Middle East,” said senior accounting and intelligence and national security double-major Gabriel Dubin.

The candidates did not shake hands after the debate.

According to CNN’s latest election poll, Clinton is in the lead at 47 percent. Trump is sitting at 42 percent, with third party candidates Johnson polling at 7 percent and Jill Stein at 2 percent.

For students who registered to vote with their Point Park Address, their polling station at Epiphany Church beside PPG Paints Arena in Uptown open at 7 a.m. on Election Day.

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