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Democratic Forum held at Winthrop University

Democratic Forum held at Winthrop University

By: Shakevia DeWalt

Winthrop students, faculty and staff members prepare for the big day, the first in the south forum. This forum is history in the making for the University. The forum will be co-sponsored by the Democratic Parties of 13 southern states.

Who’s attending?

The democratic forum will consist of the three democratic candidates. Those candidates are:

Martin O’Malley

Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton

The forum will be hosted by MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow. Before the big event, students and supporters of the different candidates are able to campaign and rally on the lawn of Byrnes auditorium while watching Chris Matthews’s special edition of Hard Ball. Some civil right activists such as Rev. Jesse Jackson have stated that he will be in attendant. Winthrop students, staff and faculty members are all welcome to attend the event as well as people from the surrounding areas in the Rock Hill community.

Making history

Winthrop University has hosted many political events. Some of those events were conducted of President Barack Obama when he was running for president in 2008, Mitt Romney when he was running for president in 2012 and also when Bernie Sanders came to give a speech a few months ago. The democratic forum will be the biggest and most exciting event for Winthrop University.

Behind the scenes

With big screen TVs, heavy equipment, lights, curtains and posters, the production crew for MSNBC are setting up stages inside of Byrnes Auditorium as well as outside in front of Winthrop main entrance. A stage is set up for Chris Matthew’s Hard Ball show as well as a stage is being set up inside of Byrnes for the main show. This forum will not be in debate format; instead, each candidate will be interviewed individually and sequentially. Students and staff members are all becoming a part of this presidential experience.

“It’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know Winthrop could get, I feel like it’s a concert about to happen instead of a presidential campaign,” said LeeQuan Lee, a business administration major who seemed very excited about the upcoming event.

Being a part of history

Computer science major, Quanzay Hemphill, who loves to network says “I’m really excited about the event and it brought a lot attention to the school, you see a lot of new faces every day and a lot of big potential to meet a lot of people for networking.” Winthrop students will have the chance to participate in helping with the event.

Students have the opportunity to become runners and volunteers. Jocelyn Leaf, an exercise science major, will be helping with the event as a volunteer. The role as a volunteer will be to direct people to their seats, hold seats for important people and to welcome people to Winthrop University. “I’m really glad I get the opportunity to volunteer, I’m excited to meet a lot of great people such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. John King, and Hillary Clinton. It will be a great expereience,” Leaf said.

What’s next?

The next Democratic debate will be in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Nov. 14. It will be hosted by CBS News, KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register at Drake University. The democratic presidential candidates will be Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, again. This will be the first debate to be broadcast over nationwide network television.

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