Student debate keeps spotlight on issues

Last Monday, Don Donelson of the UM College Republicans and Vikram Jagadish of the UM Young Democrats squared off on several political issues in the lobby of Eaton Residential College. Eaton put together the event to continue the political interest created by the recent Presidential Debate on campus. Approximately 40 students turned out to watch.

“After the debate, events like this are important to keep the spirit alive,” Jagadish said. Donelson concurred.

“I was afraid the apathy would set in after the cameras went away, but not so,” Donelson said.

Donelson and Jagadish sparred over issues such as the war in Iraq, rising tuition costs and the war on drugs, among others. The debate got intense, with the speakers unable to contain themselves at times. At the end of the debate, students posed their own questions.

Matt Cajewski, a junior who organized and moderated the debate, was impressed with students and speakers alike.

“Some students seemed very knowledgeable, and the candidates were great too,” Cajewski said. “Those who say kids our age are stupid are wrong. In this election, more than ever, young people are taking interest.”

Much like the Kerry-Bush debates, spectators had mixed opinions on who won the Eaton debate.

While Matt Gruber, senior, liked both speakers, he got an especially good impression of Donelson.

“It was good to see the Republican party [Donelson] stand up for itself here more than in the debates,” Gruber said. “I was impressed that [Donelson] is better than the Republican nominee now.”

Aditya Meheta, sophomore, said that the speakers “covered a decent range of issues,” but he wasn’t sure how much of a difference it made.

“The people who showed up were already politically involved,” Meheta said. “In college it’s important to get involved-events like this can bring students together.”

Jay Rooney can be contacted at