Mississippi State University (WCBI) – One of the many groups that will be watching tonight’s first Presidential debate are college students. For many of them, it will be their first time voting.
Dr. Rob Mellen, Jr. is an Assistant Political Science Professor at Mississippi State University. As the first presidential debate draws closer, Mellen wants his students to be politically active. He assigned them to watch both Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. He also wants students to critique the media’s coverage.
“What’s the narrative that’s weaved from the media, who wins, who loses. How important is the debate. Do they talk about the actual issues that are covered in the debate or do they focus on simply the horse race aspect of what does this do to the polls,” says Mellen, Jr.
Mellen challenges young voters to listen to each candidate’s message.
“Tonight’s debate is on economic policies and so they’ll be a chance to review what has President Obama done over the past four years. What are some of the challenges he’s encountered. What does Romney plan to do. What does Romney plan to do if he’s elected President.”
Whether students are given an assignment or not, Mellen says it’s important for this generation of new voters to be politically active.
“This is their future. And they’re the future leaders of our country and the choices made today, institutionally will affect them when they get married when they have children, when they go to buy a house. What happens on November 6th, what happens then is going to affect them.”