Oregon Students for McCain and Students for Barack Obama: Oregon State Chapter met in the MU Ballroom Monday to debate and discuss the policies of their respective candidates. In the past few weeks, both groups have been talking with people around campus trying to grab any potential voters.
The debate covered many issues ranging from health care to porkbarrel spending, but the Iraq war was the topic the debaters spent the most time on.
The format of the debate followed a 3-minute answer to the question, followed by a 3-minute response from the opposing side and a 3-minute closing statement by the original speaker.
RJ Friedman, co-chair of Oregon Students for McCain, challenged the Students for Obama to a debate, according to Demic Tipitino. Tipitino is involved with Oregon Students for McCain and is a sophomore at the University of Oregon.
"RJ wrote a letter published in the Barometer, publicly calling for a debate from the Students for Obama, and they accepted," Tipitino said.
Laura Murdoch, a member of the Students for Obama and freshman in history, said that people are getting involved in the issues more and more.
"There's lots of student involvement on both sides, and young people are following the issues," Murdoch said.
Both Tipitino and Murdoch can agree that the biggest concern about each of their candidates is their age, with McCain being 71 and Obama being 46.
"McCain stands for what he believes in, and he would rather lose the election than the war. Age is probably the thing most people are concerned about," Tipitino said.
"Obama brings such diversity, and has an art of connecting with people," Murdoch said. "He is going to bring a difference in change. Most people are concerned about his age and experience, though."
Both sides locked horns on a variety of issues, with student questions also being addressed by the debaters. Both sides were reminded several times to stay relevant to the question, as well as stay within the time limits.
The crowd that gathered to watch the debates filled the seats, and the moderators had to remind the crowd several times as well to remain quiet and present questions in written format to the organizers instead of shouting them out.
Bryan Hicks, a sophomore in chemistry, thinks the democratic primaries are a big issue at the moment.
"The ongoing issue with who will be the nominee is only hurting the democrats, and destabilizing their party," Hicks said.
While John McCain is the presumptive republican nominee, the next democratic primaries between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are scheduled today, with Kentucky and Oregon in the spotlight.