Political candidates will be on Northwestern’s Campus once again when congressional candidates Rep. Steve King (R) and Christie Vilsack (D) debate in Christ Chapel.
The debate will be notably different in tone from the Romney rally that was held on campus two weeks ago. In contrast with the pep-rally feel of Romney’s event, the debate will be more issue-focused and informative.
“It will be different from the Romney rally, because at a rally it is more to get people hyped up and not go in depth about the issues,” said political science major senior Ethan Raysby. “At the debate the candidates won’t be able to avoid questions and they will go more in depth.”
Unlike the Romney rally, NW sought out the opportunity to host this debate on its campus.
“How a debate works is they decide on the issues they want to talk about, then go through the rules and decide on the location,” Raysby said. “They will decide who the moderator will be and what questions can be asked.”
One of the issues that will possibly be brought up during the debate is healthcare—King wants to repeal Obamacare and Vilsack does not. Education is another likely topic. Vilsack wants to preserve the Pell Grant and King has a history of voting against acts such as the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.
Many professors, including Jeff Van Der Werff, have encouraged their students to attend the debate and to research the candidates’ positions.
“King has a record,” Van Der Werff said. “He has been in congress for about 10 years. He has more of a retrospective view which means we can measure what he says against his past actions. Christie Vilsack has a more prospective vote in the fact that we will have to listen to what she has to say. We have no past evidence since she has never sought office.”
Recently, there has been much debate around campus about whether NW should be hosting political candidates at all.
“I think [hosting candidates on campus] is a good experience and it broadens our exposure to politics,” said sophomore Joleen Wilhelm.
Professor Ann Minnick will be the representative from NW. She will be on a panel along with representatives from KTIV and N’West Iowa REVIEW who are co-hosting the debate. There will likely be media outlets from Des Moines and Sioux City as well as other locations.
“I am curious to see if students are sick of political information,” Wilhem said. “I think the debate will draw more interest and it will show the contrast between the two candidates.”
The moderators will be in charge of asking the candidates questions. However, if students have questions they would like the moderator to ask they can email professors Van Der Werff, Duane Beeson or Ann Minnick.
The debate will be held Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by email at email@example.com or by phone at 712-707-7100. When requesting tickets include a name and address.
For those who are unable to attend the event, it will be broadcast on KTIV.com.