College Dems vs. College Republicans Debate
Written by Kaylee Sugimoto on October 27, 2022
NORMAL, Ill. — Students gathered at the Bone Student Center to watch classmates put their debate skills to the test.
The annual College Democrats versus College Republicans debate, hosted by the Student Government Association, took place Monday. The debate covered a variety of topics, such as public education, healthcare, abortion and more.
One of the more controversial topics was abortion, which the parties strongly disagreed on.
“I believe in protecting the life of the unborn because it is a separate life inside,” College Republicans student Kevin Phares said. “We do all deserve bodily autonomy, so that’s why we should be protecting the God-given right to life. I’m surprised that Democrats aren’t more supportive of this decision to leave it up to the states.”
College Democrats student Lauren Bounds also spoke about abortion in the debate.
“We keep seeing a wealth of issues, especially when it comes to medical abortions, arise from these states that have abortion bans,” Bounds said. “Recently, a Missouri woman had to flee here to Illinois to receive her medical abortion…when she needed it to save her life.”
Campus safety was one topic the parties could find common ground on.
“Let me make this very clear, queer students are not safe here at Illinois State University,” Bounds said. “They are not, and we need to take a stand with them immediately.”
Bounds referenced a homophobic assault that occurred off-campus over Homecoming weekend.
College Republicans student Eduardo Monk Jr. said that local officials should strengthen law enforcement to ensure campus safety.
“What has occurred in our assaults has been reprehensible and should not be allowed here on our campus,” Monk said. “Fund and support our law enforcement. We have to make sure that they have the resources to do things right to keep us safe.”
Paige Hofstetter is the chairperson for the Civic Engagement Committee under Student Government Association. She spoke about what it was like coordinating the event.
“It was pretty chaotic,” Hofstetter said. “The first step was to reach out to both College Democrats and College Republicans to get their information on who they would want to represent them.”
Hofstetter said that the biggest process was working on the debate questions and topics.
“We wanted them to be important questions to talk about, especially for students,” Hofstetter said. “I think students hear important topics like this and become more politically involved. So this is especially important.”
In the end, Hofstetter said that all of the hard work was worth it.
“My favorite part is seeing it all come to life. A lot of it was going over the finances, the budgeting and different things like that,” Hofstetter said. “It’s hard to really overview and see what’s going to happen, but watching it all come to life was really nice. It was a great event and I’m excited to see all of these students that came out.”