Journalism dept. to host debate viewing parties

by Frankie Olito / Beacon Staff • September 27, 2012

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The debate viewing will take place in the Piano Row lobby.
The debate viewing will take place in the Piano Row lobby.

The journalism department has organized events to screen  the presidential and senate debates in the Piano Row lobby for the month of October, according to Christine Hayes, SGA journalism senator.

The journalism Interim Chair Paul Niwa along with his assistant, and Jonathan Satriale, the technology director, planned the events to be broadcast on the four screens in the lobby, said Hayes. Three of the screens will show the debate, while the fourth will display a live Twitter feed. 

There will be three presidential and Massachusetts senatorial debates and one vice presidential debate hosted throughout the month.

The space will be set up for approximately 30 people, and it may include extra seating and food, according to Hayes. 

“This is an experience that wouldn’t have happened five years ago when it comes to debates,” said Hayes, a junior journalism major. 

Hayes said attending the viewings could help students establish their opinions.

“There’s something about being able to discuss the issues rather than just watching it on their own,” she said. “I think they will be able to take a lot more out of the debates.”

Daniel Houbrick, a sophomore visual media arts major, said he would be interested in going to these events.

“It would be really interesting to see as the events go on,” Houbrick said.

Freshman Emmy Ross agreed, but said she would be more interested in seeing the presidential debates than the senatorial ones.

“I would definitely be interested in going to see people’s reactions,” the performing arts major said.

Unlike Houbrick and Ross, Michael Cruz, a sophomore visual media arts major, said he wouldn’t be interested in attending the events.

“I don’t know anything about politics, and I’m not going to learn it anytime soon,” he said.

But Cruz said he could see why other Emerson students would be interested in the events.

“I’ve overheard a lot of debating already, so I bet they would like to see the actual professionals debate,” Cruz said.

Houbrick said the disinterested students should realize the importance of these events.

“We’re in college and we are able to vote so being able to see these things is really important—almost necessary,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Jonathan Satriale is Paul Niwa's assistant. He is the technology director.