College students watch presidential debate closely - WSMV Channel 4

College students watch presidential debate closely

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tennessee State University hosted a watch party Wednesday that included about 100 students, including Republicans and Democrats.

Each wanted to hear what the candidates were going to do for them.

All eyes were fixed on the big screen in TSU's student center as President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney faced off for the time on the same stage this election season at the University of Denver.

Michael Olowu, President of TSU's College Republicans, said it's important young people are involved in the political process.

"We're giving them the opportunity to see and hear the candidates for themselves and know what they stand for," said Olowu.

Erik Schmeller Head of the Political Science Department hoped the event would encourage students to get engaged like many were during the 2008 Presidential election.

"(We hope it) motivates them to get more involved. We always have a core of students that are involved. We're hoping to build on that," said Schmeller.

Members of TSU's Student Government organized the watch party in part to educate but more importantly to energize these young voters, most of whom will be voting for the first time in a general election.

"People have come to the conclusion that we already have a black president. So they feel they can sit back relax. But this is not the time," said student Markeil Lewis.

Before Romney and Obama took the stage, students held a pre-debate. They asked attendees, which candidate they're likely to support in November? Which issues matter most to them? They also were asked what they need to hear from each candidate?

All of these are questions that voters should be asking themselves said Olowu.

"Over the years we've had candidates come with this propaganda that, 'They're going to do this they're going to do that.' We really need to see a plan.  It concerns me a lot because this is our future. Our country is going down the drain," said Olowu.

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