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Sep 26 2016
by Terry Nguyen

A College Student's Guide to Watching the First Presidential Debate

By Terry Nguyen - Sep 26 2016
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The first 2016 presidential debate of the general election is expected to take the world by storm, and with the election tightening up in the polls, the American public has been holding its breath to see how Trump and Clinton will perform Monday night. Although polling reveals that Trump and Clinton have a solid chunk of voters in their pocket, the first debate may uncover the frontrunner of the race and sway the mass of undecided voters in the favor of one candidate.

For many college students, this might be the first presidential debate they will watch before casting their vote. Voting, after all, is a rite of passage to adulthood, so remember to go out there and register to vote (National Voter Registration Day is September 27th)! There is one problem, however, that college students might run across. Many who live in residence halls or apartments might not have access to a TV to watch the debate, but have no fear. Fresh U is here to guide you through the first debate.

1. Watch Party

For those living on-campus, the best option is to attend a watch party. Many universities and even classes host watch parties in public areas that have TVs, and some parties even offer free food! Your campus's College Democrats or College Republicans may even sponsor one, so you can watch the debate with like-minded students. The easiest way to find a watch party near you is through Facebook. Usually, there are watch party Facebook events, with details of time and location for your convenience.

2. Online Streaming

Don’t want to leave your comfy bed on a Monday night to attend a watch party? As a college student, that excuse is totally acceptable! Many news organizations have free online live streaming of the debate, so feel free to snuggle up under the covers with a bag of popcorn for some heated political entertainment! A quick Google search before 9 P.M. Eastern time will lead you to digital news websites that offer live streaming. A notable few are Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Youtube and Politico.

A more comprehensive list of organizations offering online streaming can be found here.

3. Social Media

To those who are stacked up on homework Monday night and want to catch up on the debate’s highlights, social media outlets like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also hosting live streams that you can engage in at any time during the evening. Snapchat will be hosting Live Stories, featuring snaps of live audience responses from across the country. In addition, the Twitter moments on Election 2016 are available for you to catch up on anything you might have missed during a study session.

Worried that you might sleep through the debate? Have no worries - news organizations and social media will ensure that the discussion on the debate will continue long after its conclusion. Nevertheless, make sure to tune in to any of the online sites stated above or attend a watch party Monday night of September 26 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Lester Holt of NBC’s Nightly News will serve as the moderator and this debate’s questions will focus on America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America. 

Lead Image Credit: Rich Girard via Flickr Creative Commons

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Terry Nguyen - University of Southern California

Terry is a freshman at the University of Southern California, pursuing a major in journalism and political science. Besides writing, she enjoys photography, graphic design, multimedia storytelling, and maintaining an irrational sense of aesthetic in her dorm room. Follow her on Twitter for sarcastic tweets and fun @terryngyn

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