TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 7, 2004
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Political groups set for debate
The Young Democrats and the College Republicans are preparing for their first debate.

By John Anderson
Staff Reporter

Two campus political organizations will try to raise awareness for important issues in the presidential election Thursday in their first-ever debate.

Four prominent issues in the presidential election will be discussed by members of Young Democrats and College Republicans including: Free trade vs. fair trade, tax reform, homeland security and gay marriage, said Megan Brown, a Young Democrat member.

Student Government Association President and College Republican member Jay Zeidman said the purpose of the debate is not to sway anyone to a certain side but to spark interest in the election.

“We are going to portray our party’s platform but we will leave it up to the audience to make their own decision,” Zeidman said. “We are just trying to encourage students to vote and listen so they can make an informed decision.”

Members from both groups expressed concern that some students may be too apathetic to vote.

“I think students just don’t care,” said Samantha Cheatham, public relations chairwoman for the College Republicans. “A lot of people think that one vote doesn’t make a difference.”

Zeidman said, “The goal of this is to reduce voter apathy and get people to vote. We are so focused on our school work that it is hard to pick up The New York Times and see what is happening politically. We are so focused on what is happening here that we are not concerned with the global picture.”

Both of the student groups have been studying the four key topics for the upcoming debate.

Kenny Thompson, vice president of Young Democrats, said they are preparing themselves to refute any rebuttal the College Republicans could make.

Cheatham said the College Republicans have been doing their own research on the topics.

“We are trying to stage a mock debate within our group to prepare for any question the Young Democrats or audience might have,” she said.

Andrew Hepworth, a sophomore political science major and Young Democrat member, said the debate is important for students want to vote but don’t know who they want to vote for.

“Hopefully we will be able to guide them to a proper decision and answer any questions the student body might have,” he said.

Zeidman said it’s important to reduce apathy on campus and increase domestic and global awareness.

Thompson said that anyone is welcome to attend the discussion and join in on the first debate between these two political groups.

“This is the first debate between the College Republicans and the Young Democrats and we hope there will be more to follow,” said Mike Boone, a College Republican member. “The College Republicans are a new organization; we have only been around about a year and a half, so we have not had the opportunity to do this until now.”
The Young Democrats and the College Republicans have their first debate at noon Thursday in the Student Center Lounge.
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