Broward College hosts 2018 Florida Gubernatorial Debate
Broward College will for the third-time partner with Leadership Florida to host a political debate on one of its main campuses. The College hosted the Florida Gubernatorial debate in 2014 and the U.S. Senate debate in 2016.
The hour-long Gubernatorial debate between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis will take place on October 24, at the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus in Davie. The debate will be aired live on local, state, and some national television stations.
Although a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University concluded that the race is too close to call and that 94 percent of voters claim their mind is already made up; the debate still presents an opportunity for candidates to appeal to undecided voters two weeks before Election Day on Tuesday, November 6.
The College has used its partnership for these debates to improve its curriculum and several events have been organized since the start of the academic year to engage students. The hope is that the process will positively impact the student body and raise community participation and involvement in the electoral process and politics in general.
An educational opportunity
In the weeks leading up to the debate, students have participated in a series of events organized by Social and Behavioral Science professors college-wide. These include the Student Village Square series and politically themed lectures and symposia.
Among the topics explored were:
- The Citizenship Question: The U.S. Census and the Effect on Redistricting
- DACA & the Current Political Climate
- Voter Rights, Voter Suppression: On the Politics & Ethics of Democratic Election
- The Politics of Immigration: Ethics, Rights, and Responsibilities
This year, the College also hosted weekly Civic Spaces organized by student clubs.
Selected students will participate in the production setup for the debate; as stand-ins for the candidates, moderators, and panelists. More than a hundred Broward College students will attend the debate while others will participate through watch parties on the three main campuses. Students from the College’s international centers in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru will also join the watch parties by Skype.
Students who attend the debate will have an enriched classroom experience and instruction. Teachers often complement their lesson plans by including the pressing political, ethical, and religious topics that candidates are addressing,” says Henry Mack, associate dean for Academic Affairs.
On debate night, students will participate in a Global Circle, which will have five discussion groups on Immigration, Gun Control, Truth in Media, Ethics, and Education.
“I hope that students are inspired to become more involved in their community and in the political process,” says Dr. Lulrick Balzora, interim dean of Academic Affairs for the Social Behavioral Sciences & Human Services (SBSHS) pathway. “We also expect students to experience the atmosphere of the debate live, unmediated by technology and bias of the media.”
Visit beforeyouvote.org for a full list of networks streaming the debate.
See other events planned for the Broward College Village Square 2018-19 series at broward.villagesquare.us
Learn more about pursuing a career in Political or Behavioral Science at Broward College here.