Students gather for vice presidential debate

The Foreign Affairs Club gave students the opportunity to view a live stream of the vice presidential debate on Thursday night in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium.

While slight technical difficulties forced students to crowd around a small laptop at the beginning of the debate, the live stream was up on the big screen only minutes into the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican nominee Paul Ryan.

Renee Buhr, associate political science professor, said she was pleased with the turnout at Thursday night’s event and with the unique opportunity it gave the students.

“This is really one of the few opportunities that we get to just sit down and hear some of the political figures actually put forward some of their foreign policy ideas,” Buhr said.

In a discussion after the debate, the student’s overall consensus was that Biden won the debate. Buhr accredited this to who she said the candidates were directing their comments toward.

“The words that Biden was using were appealing to people who would vote for him anyway,” Buhr said. “The words that Ryan was using were appealing to people who would vote for him anyway.”

Junior Annie Longfellow thought the tone of the debate was very different from the presidential debate last week and both had something that the presidential candidates lacked.

“They both seemed more energetic,” Longfellow said.

Longfellow said the candidates’ physical mannerisms affected what she thought of the debate.

“If they were both super serious the whole time, I don’t know if it would necessarily help or hurt the debate,” Longfellow said. “It would just have a different tone.”

Junior Emma Notermann said while she was surprised at how long the candidates spoke on foreign policies, she was even more surprised that abortion was discussed with regard to both of their Catholic backgrounds.

“That was a really specific topic that I wasn’t really expecting,” Notermann said.

Junior Chris Gelke said he was impressed with Biden’s performance.

“As someone who’s still somewhat undecided on his vote, I think that Biden had a lot to prove,” Gelke said. “Obama’s first performance was very weak. I think that Biden was able to close the gap.”

Caroline Rode can be reached at