Students enjoy music, food and politics on Grise lawn

WKU students watch the second presidential debate on the Greise Hall lawn Oct. 16.

Taylor Harrison

With the smell of spray paint in the air and excitement evident for both Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama supporters, students flocked to Grise lawn to watch the second presidential debate on the big screen Tuesday night.

Debate Watch began before the actual debate — students were given the chance to spray paint their opinions on a graffiti wall. They could also tie dye t-shirts, participate in sumo wrestling as either Obama or Romney and listen to live music, among other activities.

Saundra Ardrey, the political science department head, said the event and the graffiti wall went along with “What’s Your Tag?” a series of political events that has been going on throughout the semester. She said students understood the “What’s Your Tag?” theme because it relates to Twitter, but in the past it referred to graffiti.

“So we thought, what a good way to merge the past with the future and also let the students have a way of expressing themselves politically and that’s when we came up with the graffiti wall,” Ardrey said.

Ardrey said she pleased with the great turnout for the event.

Albany freshman Allison Jarvis, who will be voting for the first time, was one student who wrote her views on the wall.

“I just wrote ‘Vote Romney’ on the wall,” Jarvis said. “I’m taking Obama’s stance on ‘it’s time for change.’”

Throughout the debate, cheers would rise up from the crowd in support of both candidates.

The first question of the debate was asked by a college student. He wanted to know how each candidate would make it so that jobs would be available for him when he graduated.

While Romney was the first to answer the question, Obama’s answer about creating more good jobs within the country and making sure the United States has the best education system in the world earned a round of applause throughout the audience on Grise lawn.

The audience also participated when the candidates took jabs at each other. When Romney told Obama he would get his turn to talk later, the crowd erupted in “Oh!”

Throughout the discussion about inequalities for women in the workplace, economic plans and gun laws, cheers and shout-outs for both Romney and Obama could be heard.

Following the debate, St. Louis junior Patrick O’Connor said he thought it was great.

“It gave both candidates a chance to kind of…prove that the first debate wasn’t just all that there is,” O’Connor said. “The first debate, Romney did do a great job of proving his points, but in the second debate Obama really came back stronger and was clearly doing a much better job as the incumbent than the first debate.”

Horse Cave freshman Chavez Reed, an Obama supporter, also thought Obama did better this time around as well.

“I felt that Obama addressed the issues and he better addressed the audience and their questions versus Romney who pretty much the entire debate tried to undermine Obama’s plans and his last four years,” Reed said.

Andover, N.J. freshman Kelly Rosen thought the debate escalated quickly, but her beliefs remained the same throughout.

“For me, the debates are just a small factor in what I consider when I’m going to vote,” Rosen said.