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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Political groups face off

The leaders of the GW College Republicans and GW College Democrats squared off live on WRGW radio Tuesday evening to inform students about the platforms of presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush.

CD President Anjan Choudhury and CR Chairman Bill Eldridge debated issues from defense to education for more than an hour in the Marvin Center studio. The leaders also answered questions from students who called in to the show.

Moderated by Program Board Political Affairs Chair Bryan Gless, the debate was part of the two-day PB program titled GW Votes.

Beginning the debate with the issue of education, Gless asked Choudhury and Eldridge to discuss Gore’s and Bush’s national agendas. While the CD president touted the success of the Democratic Head Start program and Clinton administration initiatives, Eldridge countered with Bush’s plans for school choice in the form of vouchers.

On the issue of health care, the leaders argued back and forth about the role of the federal government, Medicare and Medicaid spending and HMOs.

The debate had an informal tone as Gless took cheap shots at both sides. He mentioned Gore’s infamous claim of inventing the internet and Bush’s publicized weakness on foreign policy.

Continuing through the topics of Social Security, campaign finance reform, gun control, the environment and defense, the debate entertained students at home as well as almost 30 students cheering for their respective candidates outside WRGW studios. While supporters from both organizations attended the event, the crowd included mostly CD members supporting Choudhury.

I’m here to support Anjan, it’s important that people hear the true facts and figures of the election, CD Political Affairs Chair Ayana Morali said. I’m not sure about how many listeners were out there but it is a good idea to have a forum like this to debate the important issues.

The event marked the first live debate hosted by WRGW. The station gives live coverage on SA election results and some GW basketball games.

WRGW News Editor Valerie Barshak said she hopes the debate will boost the station’s popularity among students. The station is broadcast on GW Cable channel 22, on the radio on 540 AM, and on the internet at

The CDs, CRs and GW Students for Nader squared off in another debate Monday evening in the Madison Hall lounge. The event, hosted by Schenley Community Specialist Cheryl Maughan, was moderated by Community Facilitators Roger Kapoor and Lia Testa.

Matt Jessee, CR director of political affairs, David Kay, an executive board member of the CDs, and Shrayas Jatkar, a member of GW Students for Nader, discussed major issues of the campaign and took questions from the crowd of about 30 students.

The students faced off on higher education.

Clinton, Gore and the Democrats support a federal increase in Pell Grants, Kay said.

Jatkar advocated the higher education ideas of the Green Party.

Not only would Nader put more money into higher education, he would repeal things like the Higher Education Act, he said. It’s ridiculous that your behavior outside of academics would affect whether or not you can attend a college or university.

Jessee focused on the financial issues that parents of students face. Your parents are going to be reaching the age of receiving Social Security, he said. Governor Bush wants to make sure they have the money for prescription drugs.

The students also discussed the candidates’ stances on same-sex marriages.

Democrats very strongly support hate crimes bills, Kay said. You’re going to find more support from the Democrats.

Jatkar said he believes that the Democratic position is not strong enough.

The real question is, though, we don’t want people who are more supportive, we want people who are totally supportive, he said. Nader is the only candidate who has supported same-sex marriages.

Each group has scheduled upcoming campaign events and debates for October, leading up to the November election.

I hope that students will listen to the debate at home and get out and vote for the candidate that best represents their beliefs, Gless said. This will be a close election and it is important that students are informed voters.

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