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Iona College Students Debate the Debate

The students watched the debate and then participated in a Patch-moderated panel discussion.

 

About 65 Iona College students laughed, cheered and applauded during the second presidential debate Wednesday.

The students paid close attention to what both President Barack Obama, who is seeking a second term, and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, said during the town hall-style debate, moderated forcefully by CNN's Candy Crowley.

The debate viewing party and panel discussion, which was led by New Rochelle Patch, was held in the LaPenta Student Union Building and was sponsored by the Office of Student Development, the Political Science Department, the Model UN, Democracy Matters, the Student Government Association and the Ionian.

Interestingly, the first question out of the box was about college students facing a tough job market when they graduate.

Senior Chrisanne Karcich, an international studies major, was glad that topic was addresses so early in the evening.

"Personally I am not looking to go to grad school," she said, "and I will be looking for a job.

"I feel like they are saying, yeah, we are going to create jobs," Karcich said, but neither candidate offered details on how it would be accomplished.

The students on the discussion panel agreed that a lack of details was a recurring theme through the evening.

Joelle Cheatem, a sophomore majoring in political science, said Romney said he knew what it takes to create jobs, but Obama addressed the issue by talking about needing people who are trained for higher paying jobs.

"One thing about America is we don't have enough people for these higher paying jobs," he said. "People just aren't qualified to get in those jobs."

CJ Funaro, a sophomore business major, said people should examine the facts presented by both candidates.

"Gov. Romney said we are going to crack down on China," he said, "and make it a level playing field so we are not losing those highly intellectual jobs to overseas," as well as the lower paying jobs.

Kenny Reischman, a sophomore mass communication major, thought both candidates left average viewers in the dust by speaking jargon, such as Dobb-Frank, the Wall Street reform bill. He felt they should have found ways to discuss the topics that people could relate to.

"Mitt Romney said it (Dodd-Frank) like the back of his hand," he said, but one thing Obama said crystallized Reischman's thoughts on the Keystone XL pipeline, the proposed pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

"The president said we've built enough pipeline to wrap around the earth," Reischman said. "I think that's all he needed to say."

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