CMC to host presidential debate watch events |

CMC to host presidential debate watch events

Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs.

If you go:

What: Presidential Debate Watch Series

When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 4, 9 and 19

Where: Allbright Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College, 1275 Crawford Ave.

— Colorado Mountain College will host a series of debate watching events during presidential and vice-presidential debates through the next month.

Social and behavioral science professor, Bob Gumbrecht, and communication associate professor, Athena Murray, will host the debates — each of which will be followed by a panel discussion — with the hope of generating interest in the presidential election among students.

The events are also open to interested community members.

“A lot of the students are not paying attention right now (to politics),” Gumbrecht said, “and we want to pull them back in.”

Gumbrecht said professors are offering extra credit or other incentives for students who attend the debates.

The events are scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26, Oct. 4, Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. Oct. 4 is a vice-presidential debate, while the rest are presidential debates.

Murray, who teaches public speaking at CMC, said it would be interesting to watch the debates and have students observe the different debating styles of each of the candidates.

Murray described Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as an emotional debater compared to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who she described as more rational and policy-based.

“They are two very different styles of debate,” Murray said.

Gumbrecht said the debates offer an opportunity for people to hear from the candidates directly, rather than through the media, public relations spokespersons or campaigns.

“(The debates) cut through the very biased chatter out there,” Gumbrecht said.

Murray said she proposed the idea for the debate watch series after seeing a similar program at the University of Kansas while she was attending graduate school.

“I think the debates can reinvigorate a lot of interest,” she said.

Gumbrecht and Murray are still finalizing who might participate in the panel discussions following each debate and are seeking Republican and Democrat representatives to offer varying perspectives.

Each debate will be followed by panelists giving their initial reactions to how the debates went, followed by a 20- to 30-minute question and answer period.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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