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For Immediate Release
October 16, 2008

Debate Sparks Student Discussion

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Press Release Photo Professors Susan Orr and Christopher Price led post-debate discussion

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About 25 students and members of the faculty and staff gathered in the Seymour Union’s Jitterbug’s Café for the final presidential debate on Wednesday in an event sponsored by the Brockport Student Government and the College’s American Democracy Project Committee.

Following the debate students engaged in a lively discussion with faculty moderators Susan Orr and Christopher Price, with few suggesting that the debate had changed their minds, while a few did say that the debate had solidified their voting decision.

Not surprisingly, most focused on economic issues. Students expressed concern about the level of expertise and comprehension that both candidates displayed with respect to managing the economy.

The introduction of "Joe the Plumber" into the debate was met with skepticism by students, with several students wondered if he was a friend of "Joe Six Pack." Most were of the opinion that this type of rhetoric was unhelpful in explaining the candidates real ideas and issue positions.

Both Orr and Price felt that the student audience was impressive in their grasp of the central issues shaping the election, the differences between the candidates and their understanding of what was substantive and what was simply rhetoric designed not to educate voters, but to score campaign points and play strategically to segments of the potential electorate.

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