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Presidential Debate Watch Parties, Panel Discussions Set at UW

September 15, 2016

With the 2016 presidential election on the national forefront, the University of Wyoming debate team is scheduling presidential debate watch parties followed by panel discussions to raise awareness on campus.

“Our goal is to increase student civic awareness at a key time in American politics,” says UW debate team Coach Travis Cram. The team is hosting each event, along with a debate against University of Pittsburgh debate team members late next month.

The debate watch parties and panel discussions also are open to the public. All debate watch parties begin at 7 p.m. in the UW College of Business auditorium, followed by panel discussions. Snacks will be provided 20 minutes before the debates begin.

The first debate watch party is Monday, Sept. 26, followed by a 45-minute discussion on political communication dynamics, seeking to answer how an unconventional election cycle is adapting to (or flaunting) the conventions of presidential debating.

The second debate watch party is Sunday, Oct. 9, followed by a 45-minute town-hall discussion featuring U.S. House candidate Ryan Greene.

“He will field questions from students on campus, seeking to connect their concerns to the issues of the presidential election and his own plans for resolving challenges if elected,” Cram says.

The final watch party is Wednesday, Oct. 19, followed by a 45-minute panel discussion featuring foreign policy issues at stake in the election, including American responses to the crisis in Syria and the growing tensions with major powers such as Russia and China.

Cram says students also will have the opportunity to participate in a research study during each debate. Online surveys will be used before and after the debates to record students’ opinions, thoughts, attitudes and knowledge about politics.

The UW debate team will participate in a free public debate with the University of Pittsburgh focused on national energy policy Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. A panel discussion with energy economists and policymakers follows the debate. Refreshments will be provided.

“Wyoming and Pennsylvania are two states with much in common in terms of energy production, but face different futures under various regulatory schemes,” Cram says. “The two states also play markedly different roles in the presidential election.”

For more information, email Cram at

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