First Presidential Debate Viewing Party


BALDWIN PARK, CA — On Monday September 26, the first presidential debate between presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and moderated by Lester Holt was held at Hofstra University. At Baldwin Park High School, AP Government teacher Mr. Hertenstein hosted a debate viewing party for his students as an extra credit opportunity.

“This is my first time watching a presidential debate and I got to say that it is pretty interesting,” admitted AP Government student, Jesse Garcia. “I never really pay attention to politics and government, but I’m starting to be fascinated by it.”

The debate started at 6:00 PM Pacific Time, but students started showing up to the classroom at around 5:30 PM to get a good spot. Mr. Hertenstein kindly offered refreshments to students who attended. By 6:00 PM, Mr. Hertenstein found himself hosting a full house.

For the viewing party, there were certain rules that the students had to follow. Like the live audience of the convention, students were not allowed to cheer, clap, boo, disrupt the debate or show partiality in any way.

Once the debate started, students had a chance to learn about the stances of each nominee regarding certain topics, such as plans for prosperity and trade deals. For many of the students, the debate revealed more about the nominees and their views than any coverage or exposure they have seen through mainstream media thus far.

This debate was one of the most anticipated presidential debates in United States history, with a prediction of 100 million views according to industry analysts. Students certainly understood this expectation when they found themselves interested in the heated, surprising, and humorous moments in the debate. Many students were able to express their opinions about the event.

“This is honestly a very interesting debate, although I have different beliefs from both candidates,” explained senior Damaris Garcia. “Hillary definitely has the best chance. Why? Because she’s very respectful about her answers and looks to improve everyone’s situation.”

“I think that the debate arguments should have live fact check so that false claims cannot affect the opinion of the common American,” suggested senior Marvin Serrano.

“It bothers me that both are so vague in politics,” emphasized senior Wendy Wong. “So far, the highlight for me is Clinton’s race relation points (restrain police, gun safety, implicit bias is apparent in everyone).”

The first presidential debate viewing party was certainly a success with the large turnout and well-thought responses from students. There may not be another viewing party for the next debate, which will be held on Sunday, October 9 at 6:00 PM Pacific Time, but students will hopefully be intrigued enough by this recent debate to watch the following ones.

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