Engaged Hampton U. students on eve of 1st presidential debate

By Daneisha LaTorre

On Monday, Sept. 26, at 9 p.m., the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take place. CNN and other news networks will be streaming online and reporting live on cable TV.

Students can watch the televised debate from Hofstra University in New York at the Hampton U. Student Center Theater, according to Anzell Harrell, director of student activities. In 2012, a standing-room-only crowd packed the theater for the Mitt Romney-Barack Obama debate.

A number of Hampton University students have been active throughout the election – campaigning, registering students to vote and planning events to keep students informed on the election.

Robel Eskinder, a sophomore nursing major from Los Angeles, works at the Hillary Clinton campaign office located in the Hampton Harbors shopping center near Hampton University.

"My purpose for working on the campaign is to get students to vote," said Eskinder. "My essential goal is not to shift the votes of the students, but to just have students informed on what's going on in their backyards. I can be more personal with students than the other volunteers within the campaign, that's why I love doing it."

An estimated 30 Hampton U. students are volunteering at the office of the Democratic candidate, and so are 20 Hampton city residents.

When interviewing two interns at the Mariah Mingoes, a psychology major from Queens, New York and Democratic Coordination Office intern, said, "I really don't want Trump to be my president. His blatant ignorance is too unprofessional and I'll trying everything to make sure he doesn't get in office. Even if I have to dedicate hours asking everybody that walks by if they're registered."

Anas'a Dixon, a political science major, Lorton, Virginia, said "Hillary is probably the most qualified candidate to run in history."

[According to a news account late last month in The New York Times, Republican candidate Trump opened few campaign offices and relied on Republican National Committee organizers scattered in 11 swing states that include Virginia. On Wednesday, ABC affiliate WSET-TV 13, Roanoke, reported that Trump was to open 30 field offices in Virginia.]

Delaria Ridley, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, and member of the campus Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program Student Leadership Program, said the organization plans stage a watch party in the Student Center Atrium.

"The purpose of this event is to make sure that the campus has the opportunity to be informed and be able to provoke conversations about the upcoming election," said Ridley.

"I can't wait to see Hillary do her thing!" said Jordan McKinney, a political science major from New Jersey.

Daryle Kennedy and Chelsea Harrison contributed to this report. The writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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