In 2016, I knew that I could expect certain experiences about the US Presidential Election. However, I didn’t anticipate that one of the debates between two important candidates from the Democratic Party – Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – would be held so closely to where I live! Plus, UM-Flint was one of the partners of this event. Everyone felt excited about the coming debate after receiving the formal notification from the school. Posters were sent out by emails, gigantic banners were displayed on the facades of the University Creation Center, at where it was supposed to host over 500 media workers from around the world for reporting the event. We felt the atmosphere, the excitement and the intensity assumed in all people working and preparing for the debate.
UM-Flint students, in addition to take selfies and photos with those decorations and background, were actually given many ways to get ourselves involved. There was a debate watch party on campus for students to watch the debate together and share the live polls on various topics. It indeed made difference by arranging the party and having students, alumni and residents around the campus community stay around with each other to feel the atmosphere. It enriched the experience when people applauded, cheered for the ideas and speech they like. Even by just viewing the big screen, one could learn what were people’s opinions, comments and their most instant reactions during the debate. It was fun, interesting and very enlightening too.
Furthermore, there are also 60 UM-Flint students that actually worked for the CNN debate as student volunteers. One of them described his experience like this:“I think it is something that really will stand out on a resume. It will give me a better outlook of what people are doing in the media and the different responsibilities that they have. It will just be a really great learning opportunity for me.” For more of the news, you can click this link: Democratic Presidential Debate Brings Unique Opportunities to UM-Flint Students
For students, especially for international students studying at UM-Flint, during their comparatively short-term stays in the United States, it might be an opportunity that won’t come at another time to observe and learn so closely or to experience such a significant political event like this in person. It is very valuable opportunity and should be greatly appreciated.