Students for Elissa Slotkin held a democratic primary debate watch party at Case Hall for the Nov. 20 fifth Democratic presidential primary debate.
East Lansing Council Member Mark Meadows, Max Lewis, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Michigan State Reps. Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing and Julie Brixie, D-East Lansing, who answered questions from students before the debate.
“We think it’s really important to have an event on campus to not only draw more attention to our group, but to draw more attention to getting people involved in politics on campus,” said Jeremy Frazee, the Students for Elissa Slotkin president.
Meadows and Anthony both said one of the reasons they came was to support Rep. Slotkin.
“This is a candidate that we all need to support,” Meadows said. “The campus is extremely important in 2020.”
Meadows said students should know who all the candidates are because even if they don't receive the nomination, they could play a prominent role in a Democratic administration.
“Are we looking at the next cabinet? Are we looking at people who are going to run departments at the national level?” Meadows said. “Maybe Andrew Yang will not be our presidential candidate, but he clearly has skills that might be of assistance to whoever becomes the president.”
Anthony said it’s important for her to interact with students at a local level and help them understand these policies.
“Often times, the student voice is not heard and respected in the way that it should be,” Anthony said. “Some of my best ideas, in terms of policy, come from students.”
Anthony said it’s key for students to know who the candidates are because their positions impact the well-being of students everywhere.
“If we want something changed in terms of college affordability, in terms of better transportation, in terms of more student scholarships and financial aid,” Anthony said. “These are the individuals who make those decisions every day.”
Students for Elissa Slotkin members thought it was important to take part because election season takes place during the school year.
“East Lansing gains a lot of younger population whenever the students are in school and a lot of the elections take place around school time,” said MSU sophomore Izzy Taylor, who helped students sign into the watch party.
Taylor said she believes if students were to band together, there would be potential to change the outcome of an election.
“I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to take advantage of that by getting as educated as they can and voting whichever way they so chose,” Taylor said.
She’s not the only one.
“Young people are the ones who are going to be really impacted by the election and the outcome of this election,” junior Jake Nessel agreed. “It’s important that we’re registering people to vote, getting people involved and making our voices heard.”
Taylor and Nessel are both apart of Students for Slotkin and were both equally thrilled with the outcome of the watch party before it had even began.
Taylor was appreciate of the visibility it brought to their political group because it shows young people that there is always that possibility to get involved with local government.
“It’s cool to get a little bit more educated about local politics,” Taylor said.