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Students seek more variety in debates

Oct. 10, 2000

Issues fall short of voters' expectations



Baylor students have specific expectations for Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush's scheduled debate at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. When asked, most students were not satisfied with the issues covered in last week's debates.

'Neither one has won my heart,' Christy Garner, a Snyder senior, said about the political opponents.

Some undecided voters felt that the candidates did not actively pursue their votes.

'I consider myself an undecided voter,' said Keith Ogle, a law student from Fort Worth.

Ogle said he does not enjoy the way both major party candidates pander to the voters in the middle.

'I might vote for a third-party candidate,' Ogle said. 'If enough people go out and vote for the third-party candidate, then maybe some of their issues will foster discussion among the candidates.'

Ogle said he would also like to hear details on the candidates' views of campaign reform, as well as their views on the U.S. immigration policy.

But some issues that students are interested in were covered in last week's debate, though not very well.

'I'd like to hear more specifics of Gore's college plan,' said Ben Cullen, a Pleasanton senior.

In the first debate, Gore said he would offer a $10,000 tax credit for college students.

'[Gore] talks about how it is going to help most college students. I want to know what is really for me,' Cullen said.

Lynne Pennington, a senior from San Clemente, Calif., said that she wants to hear more about education. Pennington also said the information the candidates offered about education was vague.

'How are they going to reduce class sizes, and how are they going to recruit new teachers?' Pennington asked.

Leah Ballard, a law student from Uvalde, said she was upset that education was mentioned in the debates.

'I don't know why they are talking about education because there is nothing they can do about it at a federal level,' Ballard said.

She also said she would like to know if the North American Free Trade Agreement would influence either candidate to tighten environment laws in Canada and Mexico.

Kristin McGhee, an Austin junior, said the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of RU-486, the abortion pill, was skirted.

'The abortion issue is a big deal to everyone in my apartment,' McGhee said.

She said that despite the abortion controversy, pro-life supporters will vote for Bush and pro-choice supporters will vote for Gore.

Justin Howard, a Conroe senior, said he was upset that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader is not allowed to participate in the presidential debates. Nader was not invited because he has secured only 2 percent of the 15 percent polled votes required by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Still, Howard wants to hear the candidate's views on gun control.

'That's all I care about,' Howard said. 'My guns.'

Jake May, a Dallas law student, said his perception of the candidates and the issues is tainted.

'You get what the media thinks is important to you,' May said.

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