Features

Voices on the Quad: Thoughts on the Presidential Debate

by Anna Woods & Kelly Kennedy,  Production Editor & Asst. News/Features Editor 

Sofía Ramirez Rivas

Sophomore Exercise Science major. 

I am from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. 

If you are comfortable with sharing, who are you voting for?

If I could vote, I would vote for Biden. The reason I cannot vote for the President of the U.S. is because I live in Puerto Rico. Even though I am a U.S. citizen, PR has been a U.S. colony since 1898 and we have always been treated as second class citizens. We can serve in the army but we can’t vote. Also, President Trump came down here after Hurricane Maria and threw paper towels at us and insisted that FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] did a fantastic job, which they did not. 

What are the three most important issues for you?

The three most important issues for me are climate change, LGBT rights, and women’s rights. 

How did you feel about the first presidential debate (9/ 28)?

I think the debate was chaotic. I honestly don’t think either of them got their point across because they were always talking over each other and fighting. 

Did it change your opinion at all?

I still would never vote for Trump even if I could because it goes against my morals and values. He is an ignorant, racist, homophobic, xenophobic man who has divided the U.S. even more than what it already is

Did you watch the vice presidential debate (10/7)? how did you feel about it? Did it change anything?

Yes I did watch the VP debate and I thought it was just ridiculous. I feel like Pence avoided answering the questions and only stuck to certain things to talk about like the COVID vaccine for example. He was also very disrespectful to Kamala. I loved how Kamala didn’t tolerate him talking over her or his interrupting. In the end it just reassured me even more that the Trump/Pence administration is a disaster and they shouldn’t be in office in the first place. Biden and Kamala are definitely my choice for the upcoming elections.

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Sam Bravate, sophomore Marketing Major 

Long Island 

If you are comfortable with sharing, who are you voting for?

Joe Biden is the only real answer here.

What are the three most important issues for you?

I think the three most important topics would be Immigration  — Family separation — Women’s rights to choose — pro-choice — and for the future restoring the dignity of the United States.

How did you feel about the first presidential debate (9/ 28)?

I think the debate showed how childish and unprofessional our current president is. There was no real preparation from his side other than attacking Biden’s talking points. It almost felt like two elementary schoolers arguing on the playground.

Did it change your opinion at all?

Absolutely not, it cemented my pre-existing opinion.

Did you watch the vice presidential debate (10/7)? how did you feel about it? Did it change anything?

Yeah I did watch it, honestly speaking both sides disappointed me heavily. Pence said systematic racism is a myth when in reality it’s a fact and Harris harped on about not banning fracking despite the fact that it’s inherently a bad practice.

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Mary Camaj, sophomore International Studies and Political Science Major, minoring in Business and Spanish.

Yonkers, New York

If you are comfortable with sharing, who are you voting for?

I would prefer not to share.

What are the three most important issues for you?

  1. How the administration will deal with the coronavirus moving forward.
  2. The improvement of the healthcare system and the creation of more jobs.
  3. How the administration will unify the country in a time when both sides are extremely polarized.

How did you feel about the first presidential debate (9/ 28)?

I was very taken aback by the debate. It was very difficult to learn anything about the candidates’ plans and views in the midst of the interrupting and name-calling. I had hoped for a more professional environment, because now more than ever the people need to hear from their leaders. 

Did it change your opinion at all?

My opinion remained the same. The debate did not appease any of my worries; in a way it worsened them.

Did you watch the vice presidential debate (10/7)? how did you feel about it? Did it change anything?

The vice presidential  debate was much more civil in comparison to the presidential debate, and both candidates were well-versed in their views and the delivery of their points. Overall, it did not change my views, but I did learn more from this debate than the previous one. This debate was much more professional and easier to watch.


Giuliana DeLuca. I’m a communications major. I will be graduating in December. 

I’m from Westchester County. 

If you are comfortable with sharing, who are you voting for?

I’m going to vote for President Trump. 

What are the three most important issues for you?

The most important issues for me are the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and foreign policy. 

How did you feel about the first presidential debate (9/ 28)?

I felt that the debate was really predictable. I knew that they would disagree with each other, but the interruptions were frustrating. Despite the interruptions, I thought that both candidates did their best to answer questions in the limited time that they had. I also thought Chris Wallace did his best. I feel like he challenged both candidates. He also brought up relevant topics and issues that the nation is facing. 

Did it change your opinion at all?

The debate didn’t change my mind. I honestly feel like the debates do not change people’s minds. People who like Trump are still going to support him and people who like Biden are still going to support him too. Maybe town halls would be more persuasive. Unfortunately, I do not have a solution to this problem.

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Liam Sawyer and I am a class of 2023 Electrical Engineering major. 

I am from Staten Island, NY.

If you are comfortable with sharing, who are you voting for?

I am undecided.

What are the three most important issues for you?

The issues I care most strongly about are climate change, equality, mental health, and the economy.

How did you feel about the first presidential debate (9/ 28)?

This debate was not what I expected it to be, it even made me laugh watching it. It seemed like a joke where nothing was being said except for some back and forth bickering and insults. It felt like I was watching a TV show about high school teens and their drama, instead of a presidential political debate. 

Did it change your opinion at all?

Honestly, it did not. Hopefully the second debate is better but I don’t have high hopes. I hoped to learn more about the candidates but after watching, it only solidified the ideas I already had of who they were.

Did you watch the vice presidential debate (10/7)? how did you feel about it? Did it change anything?

I did watch the VP debate and I definitely believe Harris won over Pence. She made some great points on her end while Pence could not stop interrupting her. I don’t think the VP debate changed my feelings but more so what’s going on with Trump and the Supreme Court. Two of the justices made it clear that they will do everything they can to overturn gay marriage rights and the new justice that Trump is appointing made her stance on LGBTQ rights in a negative way. That’s a major issue for me so at this moment I am really undecided who I am going to vote for.

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