UTC students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to watch the October 7 presidential debate and then join in a live videoconference discussion with viewers from five other Tennessee universities. The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is hosting the event. DebateWatch is sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates and the UTC Political Science Club.
“DebateWatch” will be held at 9 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium.
Live audiences will also assemble at UT Knoxville, UT Martin, the University of Memphis, Tennessee State University and East Tennessee State University to watch the Belmont University Town Hall presidential debate. The television monitors will be turned off at the conclusion of the debates, and an hour-long videoconference discussion will begin. That discussion may include issues such as health care, the Iraq war and foreign policy, the economy, education and energy.
“Rather than Chris Matthews or other nationally-known commentators, students can give their opinions for a change,” said Allyson Smith, president of the UTC Political Science Club. “We want to encourage everyone to get involved. I attend classes with people who are in the military, those who are struggling to pay for college, parents who are about to lose their jobs. This election is so important—and it is important for us to hear from students in other parts of the state who may have something to say we haven’t thought about before. It may give us a different perspective.”
For this DebateWatch, participating schools and their moderators are:
- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, moderated by Bob Swansbrough, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science.
- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, moderated by Mike Fitzgerald, senior teaching fellow at the Baker Center and professor of political science.
- The University of Tennessee at Martin, moderated by Mike McCullough, professor of management, marketing and political science, and Tim Smith, adjunct instructor of history and philosophy.
- Tennessee State University-Avon Williams Campus, moderated by Evelyn Nettles, associate vice president for academic affairs, and Sharon Peters, TSU director of off-campus programs.
- University of Memphis, moderated by Robert Blanton, interim chair and associate professor of political science.
- East Tennessee State University, moderated by Deborah Harley, assistant vice president for community engagement, learning and leadership.