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Texas A&M Election Discussion Highlights Global And National Issues

This story was written by christen beck, The Battalion

Texas A&M students whooped and hissed during the Student Conference on National Affairs' political discussion Tuesday night, titled "What will he do?" The discussion highlighted specific issues that presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama will face if they become president.

As an Obama supporter, senior English major Megan Kehr attended the event to gain more understanding of the Republican plan. "I just wanted to see what they had to say about McCain."

SCONA Chairman Kip Whittington explained that the discussion was an informative session on global and national issues.

"The reason behind this program tonight is not to debate, but to inform the student body on what these two candidates might do as president, and furthermore to inform what they will do on three important issues," Whittington said.

"Get out there and vote," he said. "I think no one can disagree on the importance of voting. It has constantly been a problem to get younger voters out there. I also believe that everyone can agree that this year's election is quite an interesting one."

The issues the event discussed included military, economic and energy; specifically U.S. intervention in problematic areas around the world, calamities in the markets and plans for creating a sustainable global energy.

Christopher Sprecher, Jasen Castillo and Leonard Bierman led the discussion. As a supporter of McCain, Sprecher, a specialist in international relations, represented McCain's argument. Castillo, an assistant professor in the Bush school of Government, supported Obama. Bierman, a management professor, moderated the discussion.

The speakers highlighted the candidates' military plans. They discussed McCain's healthcare plan, a contrast from Obama's plan of universalizing the national health care system. When the issues turned to the economy, Sprecher argued that McCain's plan would return to the Reagan economics of the 1980s, decreasing taxes for the wealthy to increase businesses. Castillo argued for taking tax pressure off those who make less than $250,000 a year to strengthen the middle class.

"[SCONA] really wants to enlighten students on political issues," said SCONA assistant chairwoman Stephanie Hinds, a sophomore political science major. "We might do a different one next year, as in just talking about other politics, so people can start knowing a little bit about College Station and Bryan politics."

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