NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students connect with virtual debate watch party

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On October 22nd the final presidential debate took place. Students gathered and watched on, connecting through the tool called Zoom, that has aided us through the pandemic.

The event was hosted by Professors Stephen Slaner and Stephen Russell, with the help of Coordinator of Student Activities, Stephanie Haskell and the Coordinator of Civic Engagement, Janel D’Agata-Lynch.

Before and after the event, students and faculty were given a chance to speak about their expectations and reactions. All throughout the debate, the students used to chat as well.

D’Agata-Lynch shares what it was like for students to connect in terms of such events before the pandemic.

“In the past during election years we often watched these debates after the fact  We streamed them on campus maybe the next day, and had a discussion about it,” she said via Zoom.

Due to the pandemic, the format of such events has had to be rethought in order to follow social distancing guidelines.  However she did express that it was exciting to watch the debate all together, considering that people could react as they watched together.

Students seem to agree.

Kim Louge from Lowell, 48, majoring in Human Services at NECC shares their response via email to the online format. “This is my first year at NECC and since we are dealing with the pandemic, I am extremely grateful that we are able to have events like this online,” Louge said. They go on to say that through events like this they can interact with other students.

Andrew Venditti, 21, majoring in Journalism and Communications at NECC says, “I still got some much-needed intellectual stimulation from classmates and professors even though the event was online.”