CoPIRG hosts innovative debate watch party


Posted Sun, Oct 7, 2012

DENVER-The Colorado Public Interest Research Group hosted a Presidential Debate watch party with a twist Oct. 3 evening. While most viewers are likely to have tuned in to the debate between President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts via one of the three major broadcast networks, CoPIRG’s watch party on the Auraria Campus featured the coverage and content of the non –profit program Democracy Now!

Before the debate began, CoPIRG volunteer Balsam Hamid and campus organizer for the University of Colorado at Denver, Lindsay Jakows could be seen decorating the Auraria Campus classroom location where the watch party was held with glitter and balloons. As many as 30 attendees were expected, but about a dozen showed up by the debate’s start. Hamid & Jakows introduced CoPIRGand explained some of their initiatives.

The CoPIRG Cause: CoPIRG volunteer Balsam Hamid introduces the organization and some of its initiatives at a Wednesday evening Debate Watch Party.

“Tuesday is the last day, so please register to vote,” said UCD nursing/psychology major Balsam Hamid. Hamid is fairly new to the organization, as she started volunteering with them on Tuesday.

“I’m just trying to be involved more with the school.”
“We’ve registered over 700,” said Jakows of CoPIRG’s on-campus registration efforts. Jakows is serving in her first year as campus organizer. As a matter of policy, CoPIRG workers did not say what issues they wanted the moderator and debaters to talk about.

“Maybe what planet Romney’s from” was a tongue-in-cheek concern voiced by student Carl Baker.

The initial PBS debate format was to proceed as follows:
No opening statements
The President was to be introduced first and answer the first question.

There were to be 6-15 minute segments based on broad topics:
3 on the economy
1 on healthcare
1 on the role of government
1 on governing

Romney was to make his closing argument last.
The Democracy Now! debate format featured the full length debate between Obama and Romney, hosted by Jim Leher. It also featured a debate between physician and former gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein of the Green Party, and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

The second debate, moderated by journalist Amy Goodman, was effectively interspersed among bits of the first. After Obama and Romney each answered one of Leher’s questions, coverage cut to Goodman who posed the same question to Stein and Anderson. This format may have slowed the debate’s pace, but it was an alternative to the two-sided debate typically offered during election season.

While watch parties for the remaining debates are tentative, CoPIRG will be attending Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival this Saturday, Oct. 6 in City Park.
2012, Amy Goodman, CoPIRG, Debate, Jill Stein, Jim Leher, Obama, PBS, Rocky Anderson, Romney

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About Stephen Young

Stephen Young is currently a student studying writing at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He believes that writing is torture, but still does it for some reason.

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5 Responses to “CoPIRG hosts innovative debate watch party”

  1. Kevin Hall Says:

    It’s intersting that this organization cared about the other debates as well. Debates that many people didn’t even know was going on. It’s cool to see the equality in their coverage.


  2. Leah Raaflaub Says:

    This story was very easy to read and very interesting! I like the twist that youve taken on the debate as opposed to a traditional account of the debate. This was more interesting to me!


  3. Ashley King Says:

    I found this story informing. It’s great to know about the other debates, and how our school is involved in letting people know about them.


  4. Spencer Hunt Says:

    I thought it was cool that they watched other debates besides the presidential one. It seems like they got a more rounded view of democracy by doing this. Great story


  5. Scott Corbridge Says:

    I like the story and how it was interesting to look at the format that they took when the debate had started. It’s also cool to know that they tuned into other debates and not just the presidential one.


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