The East Texan

A Game Changer Either Way: Election Watch Party to give students a chance to witness history in the making

Graphic by DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

Graphic by DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

Gwiwon Jason Nam, Staff Reporter

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The 2016 general election day is coming and the Election Watch Party will be held at the A&M–Commerce Student Center Club on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m.

“Government only works if people pay attention and take an interest, so this watch party will help maintain that interest among the student population and have some fun while doing so,” Pi Sigma Alpha’s adviser and the Department Head of the Political Science Dr. Jeffrey C. Herndon said.

Organizer and coordinator of the watch party/President of Pi Sigma Alpha Rebecca Turner explained the purpose of the watch party.

“It is a good way to spread awareness and get students more involved in politics,” Turner said. “Raising political awareness is important, not just on our campus, but as a whole. However, many students on campus are just now able to vote for the first time, so we want to help students be active in politics and give them an opportunity to witness how our government works as well as mingle with their cohorts in the process.”

This event is hosted by the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha and sponsored by The Club and the Hispanic Outreach. The co-hosts are the College Democrats and the College Republicans.

“We, College Republicans, try to make as many red decorations as possible, such as red tablecloths, red helium balloons and red curtains. While Democrats are going to make everything blue in the same manner,” President of College Republicans William Gutierrez said.

“The Democrats get to decorate a blue-based theme on one side,” the President of College Democrats Matthew Markovitch said.

“I think we are going to have cutouts of Hillary and Trump, if the Republicans can provide for that as they said, and we’re going to have the bean bag toss game, red vs. blue, and maybe even tally it up throughout the night to see who won in the aggregate and give prizes,” Markovitch said.

This is the first time that the College Democrats and College Republicans have been active on campus together. They will partner up to expand the event and get more people involved.

“I’m looking forward to this, because it’s the day when the most powerful country in the world chooses who the figurehead of that country is going to be,” Markovitch said. “Too many people take this day too lightly. With that said, this is the event that the political organizations look forward to every 4-year cycle.”

Gutierrez, on the other hand, is looking forward to the outreach apsects of the event.

“Like others said, we collaborate with other organizations on campus to bring a wider audience from different backgrounds and ultimately expose the students to politics,” he said

Event teams anticipate attendance to be at least 150 people.

“I will be attending this event as faculty advisor for both College Democrats and College Republicans,” Political Science Department Professor Dr. Jangsup Choi said.

“The watch party is part of our seamless attempt to foster deeper political interest and engagement among A&M-Commerce students,” Dr. Choi said. “By attending this watch party, I hope our students get a chance to find themselves as crucial decision-makers in the presidential election.”

“This event will bring all the participants a unique experience,” Choi added. “Beyond presidential candidates, hot-button electoral and policy issues can be freely discussed among students who attend this event.”

Host teams are expecting professors from other departments and colleges to be attending. Also, they hope to raise political awareness by collaborating with several different student organizations and campus programs to reach a wider audience on campus.

“We’re all working real hard to make this event an enjoyable experience. On top of food and decorations, we’re planning games, and it will be a blast,” President of College Democrats Markovitch said. “I definitely encourage everyone to come out and be a part of this big day and bring your friends and family.”

“Pi Sigma Alpha is a non-partisan political group, so as a group we have no political affiliation like other political groups, but I am looking forward to this event, and what it is providing for the campus,” Rebecca Turner said.

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A Game Changer Either Way: Election Watch Party to give students a chance to witness history in the making