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Middle Tennessee State U. Students Discuss Vice Presidential Debate At Cyber Caf

This story was written by Jessy Richter, Sidelines

The American Democracy Project hosted a vice presidential debate watch from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Middle Tennessee State University Cyber Cafe on Thursday. Afterwards, the group held a short discussion among those who attended.

Jim Williams, history professor and campus coordinator of the ADP, moderated the discussion. He also provided voter registration information before and after the debate.

Zack Barnes, junior psychology, said there were more people than he expected at the debate watch.

He said he thought it was important for students to attend these debate watches.

"It's really good for students to get together and discuss, because we could swing the election," Barnes said.

Williams said it is important for all Americans who are going to vote in this historic election.

"The office of vice president has grown in power and influence since 1993 with Al Gore and Dick Cheney, so probably the next vice president will continue that trend," Williams also said. "As a historian, I think Americans will have to realize that they can no longer ignore the vice presidential candidate as someone who sits on the sidelines."

Kyle Styer, junior physics major, said he agreed with the fact that the vice president's powers have been increasing.

The group at the Cyber on Thursday discussed many questions, one of which was, "Is what the world thinks of us important?"

Katy Coil, junior journalism major, said that the world realizes our choices affect them. Most were in agreement with the idea that world's perception of us is important.

Styer said Palin's strength seemed to be the topic of energy, while the economy was kind of a side point. There were differing opinions throughout the room over who did better than the other overall.

Williams asked the group if they believed either candidate was outright lying. No one mentioned seeing anything as an outright lie, but the source was mentioned as a place to find the candidates' facts' accuracy.

Other question topics covered were health care, meeting with foreign leaders, the importance of gender-if any-in the debate and the ideas of patriotic tax paying.

Barnes and Coil said the debate did not change their opinions at all.

There is another debate watch Tuesday in the State Farm Room of the Business and Aerospace Building from 8 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. with discussion and refreshments following. More information can be found at the ADP's website,

This debate watch will be the second between the presidential candidates, and will be aired from Belmont University in Nashville.