Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals host second debate watch party
Students and young local professionals gather for presidential debate
Of the 50 people that gathered to watch the second presidential debate in Greiner Hall on Sunday, only 15 were UB Students.
The Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals hosted the watch party. The event was facilitated by Deidree Golbourne, a senior African American studies major, and Kenny Berrouet, a senior business administration major. Golbourne is a participant in the Buffalo Urban League’s youth employment program and Berrouet is a development and communication intern for the Buffalo Urban League.
Golbourne and Berrouet kicked off the event with an icebreaker activity. They read off quotes from the two different candidates and had students guess which candidate made each statement. Golbourne said this activity helped students focus more on actual policy issues rather than on the individual candidates.
Golbourne said having a debate watch party encourages students to get involved in politics. She described the watch party was “a non-partisan environment.”
Attendees were quiet and attentive for the duration of the 90-minute debate. Golbourne and Berrouet facilitated a discussion after the debate.
“Both politicians don’t have a respect for order. They didn’t honor the true leaders of the debate, which are the moderators,” said Nyandusi Nyachae, Economics and Civics chair for Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals.
Stephanie Foreman, a Buffalo Urban League board member, said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent comments about women are “inappropriate.” She said there is a double standard where Trump is excused for saying things that others could not get away with.
“If he were a person of color, people would not call his comments about women ‘locker room talk.’ They would call him a ‘rapist,’ a ‘thug’ or a ‘sexual predator,’” Foreman said. “He is a grown man and is not acting as such.”
Many students expressed the importance of voting, particularly in this election.
Dillon Smith, a senior economics and political science major, described this election as a “dumpster on fire.”
“These candidates do not reflect our vision for the future,” Smith said.
Smith said people, particularly students, feel detached from politics.
“It’s so important to vote for the candidate that’s best for the things you care about,” Smith said.
Tiffany Nyachae, a PhD candidate in the Reading Education program, said people should listen to those who say they don’t want to vote.
“We need to have a more expanded conversation around voting. We need to be OK with diverted thought and we need to educate and listen,” Nyachae said. “Beyond voting, we need to ask people what their sustainable activism is that they will hold to over the next four years.”
Jamil Crews, president of the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals, agreed that it is important to get involved with policy issues that people care about. He said there should be efforts to connect people with first-hand activist experiences.
“You don’t have to be a politician to make a difference in your community,” Crews said.
Maddy Fowler is a news staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org