Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Once in a Lifetime Event: The U.S Presidential Debate on Campus

Younies in front of the CNN desk before the debate

My university, Washington University in St. Louis, or as students like to call it, WashU, hosted the second U.S. presidential debate on October 9. This event was incredibly interesting because the role of debates during a presidential election is an important one: they allow candidates to answer questions from citizens and journalists, which helps the public better understand the candidates’ policies.

Student groups on the Washington University Campus
The second debate was a fascinating event for both American and international students at WashU. First, all the news agencies were on our campus (Yaah!). I saw the cameras that streamed the event live around the world. Second, it was also a unique experience to see all student groups representing their own views on the future and the country. It was great to see everyone discussing their opinions on the race!

For example, many organizations talked about the problems that they thought should be addressed, and also the challenges they faced in their own groups. It was evident that not everyone agreed; Students supported different candidates based and their own beliefs and needs. This was the first time I understood how big of a responsibility it is to be President, and also the difficulty of winning an election.

I believe that the Fulbright Program prepared me well to join my American campus and community. For example, program administrators encouraged me to be curious about events in my new city, which is why I was so interested in the debate on my campus. On the other hand, I also feel that I am both an ambassador for Fulbright and my country. This gives me a responsibility to join in cultural events, and to learn as much as possible from each new experience.

Entrance to WashU during debate

Younies, a Fulbright Student from Egypt, is pursuing an M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering at
Washington University in St. Louis with a specialization in
machine learning and data mining.



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