College Dems and Reps debate issues

With the election soon approaching, there are some key issues to consider, including the economy, the Iraq War, immigration and gun control.

These issues were debated by College Democrats and College Republicans on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the Constitutional Day Debate. About 100 students were in attendance at the debate.

Dr. Stephen Llano, a professor of the newly formed Department of Communication, Rhetoric and Theatre moderated the debate.
Immigration was the first topic of the debate.

“We must improve our legal immigration process,” said College Democrat Thomas Olik. He also said that the Democrats believe a border fence will not prevent people from coming here illegally.

However, College Republicans Secretary Megan McEntee said that “fences are equipped with lasers and cameras” and that “it is not a simple barbwire fence.” She also said that the GOP wants “to develop a reliable border protection system.”

In a rebuttal, Olik countered that most immigrants who come to the U.S. come with good intention to be law abiding citizens.

The next topic debated was gun control. College Republicans President James Pickel spoke first, saying that his party opposes bans on gun control, but that the process of obtaining guns should be more efficient.

College Democrats offered the opposing view from spokesman Christian Puntarelli, who said that “incidents like Columbine, Virginia Tech and the incident on our campus are why we need more gun control.”

The third topic of debate was the War in Iraq. The two parties were given the focus question “What is your political party’s stance on the current situation in Iraq?”

College Democrats speaker Nick Roloson focused on the issue of finding Osama Bin Laden, while College Republicans speaker Megan Mapes focused on the issue of continuing the War on Terror. The last issue up for debate was the economy.

“The economy is the paramount issue in the 2008 election,” said Matthew Knotts, the College Republicans representative for this issue.

Speaking for the College Democrats was Secretary Andy Sookram, who said that the rise in unemployment and the freezing of wages has created a poor economy.