Small Student Turnout for Forum and ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night

Small Student Turnout for Forum and ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night

Following Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s sudden withdrawal from the Senate debate scheduled to take place Oct. 20 at Zankel, SGA organized a student public forum at SPA. The forum was organized to allow interested students to come by and voice their opinions regarding political issues.

What could have been a lively event in light of Gillibrand’s cancellation, ended up unattended by the Skidmore community. With the exception of Skidmore News, only the senate members themselves were present, barely occupying the roundtables strategically set up for the event.

SGA President Max Fleischman ‘19 noted that some form of social capital is inevitable when it comes to students selecting which events on campus they want to attend. The forum, originally scheduled to take place between 7-9pm, ended at 7.30pm, with lingering discussions between the senate members on how to improve publicity for future events.

The following night, SPA saw another glimmer of activity, this time with the Meet the Candidates Night organized by the Skidmore Democrats. The event that hosted potential State Senator Aaron Gladd, New York State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Congressman Paul Tonko was open to the public and offered the allure of free pizza for all in attendance. All three candidates were personable and prepared to meet with and talk to the members of the public.

Gladd in particular, a family-man and combat veteran from humble beginnings, seemed to charm the crowd with his personality. Students felt comfortable asking him questions, and when asked about the bills he would pass if elected to Senate, he responded saying he would prioritize the protection of women’s reproductive healthcare — currently under threat by the Trump administration.

The event garnered a small but passionate group of individuals who came prepared with questions to ask the candidates. Yet, the lack of Skidmore students remained a common theme throughout both events. However, students should make the midterm elections a priority and head to the polls — or fill out their absentee ballots — on Nov. 6.

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