Hinckley Institute holds debate to combat student apathy

If the college Democrats and Republicans agreed on anything during their debate Monday, it was that students need to be less apathetic about politics.

The debate held on the Union Patio focused on national issues such as abortion, gay marriage, homeland security and tax cuts. Junior political science major Bryson Morgan, Hinckley Institute Student Association president, said that by focusing on national issues the debate would attract the attention of more students.

“We wanted to choose issues that all U students would have an opinion on,” he said.

The goal of the debate was to get students interested in on-campus political groups, he added. On social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, the Republicans called both issues a state’s rights decision while the Democrats said that the federal government has the obligation to protect the rights of the individual over the state.

“We can’t pick and choose about what rights women have,” said Breanne Miller, president of the College Democrats and junior political science major.

“There are ways not to get pregnant, like maybe not having sex or using birth control, which I think most people can figure out,” said Republican and senior political science major Danielle Fowles.

The debate became particularly lively on the issues of post-Sept. 11 security and the Iraq war. The Democrats called the slow response to Hurricane Katrina an example of how the Bush administration has done a poor job with national security. The Republicans blamed the slow response in New Orleans on the local government.

“Hurricane Katrina is an example of how America isn’t any safer under the Bush administration,” said Democrat Remington Johnson, a senior majoring in political science.

“What can we do to prevent a hurricane?” asked Republican Brad Anderson, also a political science major. “There was total preparation on the national level.”

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