BLOOMSBURG- On Tuesday, Bloomsburg University students tuned in to CNN on laptops, TVs and phones to watch the Republican debate between 11 of the leading Republican candidates. A moderator conducted the debate, asking the candidates questions about policy and relaying questions from viewers via social media.
Conservative junior and history major, Danny Dugan, said he “likes the fact that something new is coming for this fine country,” citing that the top three Republicans are not politicians. Other students indicated that they feel the same way. Freshman Nick McGuire says he supports Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina for exactly that reason. Many students feel as though Fiorina was the strongest candidate in the debate.
Non-conservative students also watched the debate, although reactions were much different. Gabby Santana, a junior communications major from New Jersey, said she could not believe the statements that were made on national television. Many viewers had issues with perceived anti-Muslim comments and a disregard for environmental reform that some debaters exhibited. Some students argued that the debates were more of a means for the network to boost ratings than a true political show-down.
Even those who did not flip the channel to CNN Tuesday night feel they are privy to what is happening in politics via social media. Self-described “liberal, hippy, free, non-political” education major Val DeStefano says she stays informed via Facebook and Buzzfeed. She does not support GOP ideals and hopes the Trump does not win the election. Bloomsburg junior, Dom Ferraro, an English major, is of a similar mind, although he is politically conservative, saying “[Trump] is an ass-hat.”