Students, faculty gather to discuss, watch final presidential debate

Tufts community members gathered in spaces across campus last night to view the third and final presidential debate featuring Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Before the debate, the Office of the Provost, Tisch College of Civic Life and JumboVote hosted a panel moderated by Provost David Harris and featuring School of Medicine Professor Harry Selker, Department of Political Science Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy Professor of Political Economy Katrina Burgess in Cohen Auditorium.

The Daily visited viewing parties in Cohen Auditorium, the Lewis Hall common room and the Metcalf Hall common room to ask Tufts community members what they were hoping to see and hear in the evening’s debate.

Harris said he was pleased to see Tufts students engaging in the political process by watching the debate, because of the divisive nature of this election.

“I think it’s wonderful because regardless of how many people come out, the way our society is around these elections, I’ll take any number of students who come out and actually talk about the policies and the real issues going on,” Harris said. “I have not heard a range of perspectives from students and I can’t tell whether that’s because some students who may support one side don’t feel comfortable speaking up, or whether there just aren’t that many of them.”

First-year Michelle Waslick said she did not have high hopes for the night’s debate.

“I think that I would like to see something different than the other two debates, more substance for sure and less ridiculous attacks. But I’m sure that won’t happen,” she said.

Ph.D. student Hamed Mohammadnejad said he hoped to see a new approach to this debate and offered his predictions.

“Trump is lagging behind Clinton, and has to try his best to convince his supporters and those who are not decided on who they are gonna vote,” he said. “Trump has to desperately try his best, and use a totally different approach, not acting like a child.”

Mohammadnejad hoped that the third debate would be a departure from the first two.

“Also I’d really like to hear about the real solutions, how they are going to tackle the challenge that they are confronting, [but] I haven’t seen anything during the previous two debates, so…” he said.