By Tim Hernandez
Free pizza won by a landslide Thursday, Oct. 20 as students, faculty and staff of Texas A&M University-San Antonio came together for a re-viewing of the third U.S. presidential debate in the student lounge of the Central Academic Building.
The event began with many students in attendance but when the pizza ran out so did the majority of the students.
The viewing party was sponsored by The Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement and the Student Government Association (SGA).
The center’s director, Edwin Blanton, said he wanted students to know that their vote does matter and informed voters are the best voters.
“I think it’s important to look at all sides and look at different sources and that way they can get a more holistic view of who’s running and what the issues are,” Blanton said. “Of course, the general election is very important, but there are also a lot of local and state elections going on as well.”
SGA President Erick De Luna kicked things off by informing the students in the lounge that the event’s purpose was to view the prior night’s debate, pizza and drinks were provided at no cost, and a discussion would follow led by Edwin Blanton.
One of the remaining students, freshman sociology major Alyssa Carreon said, “I’m undecided on who to vote for.”
Freshman pre-business major Octavio Islas, who is not eligible to vote, said, “If I were to vote for president I would vote for Trump just because I’m a Republican. I don’t lean towards Democratic policies, especially Hillary’s.”
Another post-pizza hold out, freshman mass communication major Gabi Medina said, “I am undecided because I agree with Trump. I like his moral values, like the Republican moral values. However, I disagree with his personality and the way he presents himself. And I also don’t like his financial views. I agree a little bit more with Hillary’s financial views. I think we should tax the very wealthy instead of putting everything on the middle class.”
Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Texas A&M University-San Antonio President, dropped by for a few minutes but skipped the free pizza. She said “People have visceral reactions to both candidates and what we can do is promote civility and promote democracy and have people engage in civility and democracy by registering to vote and making sure their vote counts.”
Matson said she has talked to a number of students who are not yet registered to vote and she advises them to get registered and to vote no matter which candidate they support or their voice won’t be heard.
A flip chart on an easel stood at the rear of the room behind where Blanton sat. At the top on a yellow card was the question, “Which candidate do you think won the debate?”
At the end of the event, Trump held nine votes to Clinton’s twelve.