UCSB-4-Bernie hosted a live screening of the first Democratic Presidential Debate of the 2016 race Tuesday evening in the Hub.
Democratic presidential candidates currently include former Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, former Governor of Maryland Martin OMalley, Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders and former Senator from Virginia Jim Webb. Debate focused on gun control, income and wealth inequality, education, foreign policy and employment, among other issues. At the viewing event, UCSB-4-Bernie members staffed tables where attendees could register to vote.
External Vice President of Statewide Affairs, UC Student Association Undergraduate Committee Chair and fourth-year black studies and sociology major Mohsin Mirza said the outcome of the November 2016 election will directly affect students.
“Decisions made in Washington will have a huge impact on whether or not students who are immensely frustrated with Washington will be able to see more affordability, debt relief and real change,” Mirza said.
According to Mirza, UCSB can affect national outcomes, as many students are politically engaged.
“UC Santa Barbara is a campus with strong organizers and activists, and politicians have to pay attention.”
First-year political science major Summer Taneman said Sanders is “shaking things up” in the presidential election.
“He understands what people our age have been thinking for years,” Taneman said. “I want to hear about how he wants to make these changes happen.”
Third-year economics major Ron Papile said he supports Republican candidate Marco Rubio, but wants to hear from Democratic candidates.
“I am here to engage with both sides of the debate and get both perspectives,” Papile said.
Papile said he felt candidates in the debate were avoiding topics they did not wish to discuss.
“The candidates were skirting around the questions and redirecting them only to certain issues,” Papile said.
UCSB-4-Bernie leader and third-year religious studies major Eric Villalobos said UCSB students have shown “interest and energy” during the presidential campaign.
“We made a Facebook group for this debate event just to see how many people would be interested,” Villalobos said. “750 people pressed attending in 24 hours.”