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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mock debate enlightens students on candidates

October 2, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor
Photos By Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. TR associate professor Rik Sehgal plays Sen. Bernie Sanders during the mock democratic debate that took place on TR Campus Sept. 26 to teach students about the current Democratic candidates.
Photos By Joseph Serrata/The Collegian. TR associate professor Rik Sehgal plays Sen. Bernie Sanders during the mock democratic debate that took place on TR Campus Sept. 26 to teach students about the current Democratic candidates.
TR director of counseling Deidra Turner portrays California Sen. Kamala Harris as she explains Harris’ views on immigration.
TR director of counseling Deidra Turner portrays California Sen. Kamala Harris as she explains Harris’ views on immigration.

Five TCC faculty members played the parts of the leading 2020 democratic presidential candidates  and held a mock debate in the Energy Auditorium at TR Campus on Sept. 26.

The debate, made possible by the government, political science, philosophy and advising departments, was held to give students an idea about presidential candidates Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and their views according to the most recent debate of Sept. 12.

The debate topics included healthcare, racism, guns, immigration, climate change, student debt and the 2020 election.

The debate was moderated by TR speech instructor Sheldon Smart, administrative assistant Jannet Ponder and TR student Damien Jackson.

TR director of student conduct Tim Cason plays the role of Pete Buttigieg and goes over his notes before his turn to speak.
TR director of student conduct Tim Cason plays the role of Pete Buttigieg and goes over his notes before his turn to speak.

Government instructor Corena White, who participated as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, echoed Warrens’ views on racism in America.

“There’s no way to legislate hate away, is there?” White, as Warren, said. “But what we can do as a nation is come together and see that we have more in common than we disagree on.”

Putting on a New York accent, associate professor of government Rik Sehgal, playing the role of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, respectfully disagreed with Warren’s talking points on racism.

“I respect the opinions of Sen. Warren,” Sehgal, as Sanders, said. “However, I heard no answers. Did you hear any answers? There is a way to legislate against hate, and that is putting harsher hate crime penalties on people, and by removing the president that promotes white nationalism.”

When asked a question that the real Joe Biden refused to answer, TR English professor Jim Schrantz,  who was playing the role of Biden, was the first to break character.

“Really?” Schrantz. “You’re going to give me a question that Biden himself refused to answer and then see what happens?”

TR government instructor Corena White plays Sen. Elizabeth Warren and talks about Warren’s views on student loans.
TR government instructor Corena White plays Sen. Elizabeth Warren and talks about Warren’s views on student loans.

Director of counseling Deidra Turner, who represented Kamala Harris, spoke after the debate about the importance of knowing the issues in a presidential election.

“Sometimes we don’t take the time, or we miss the opportunity to really hear what the candidates are about,” Turner said. “I really think this gave students a snapshot of some of the crucial issues that are affecting them, and let them hear about these issues.”

NW student and former student government member Elizabeth Everett said that from the students she spoke to, most did not know enough about the candidates to make an informed vote.

“They didn’t know who’s running and what they don’t realize is that politics and the people in charge impacts them directly,” Everett said. “I think it’s so critical to have the right information, and facts. Facts are key.”

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