48°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Students gather at UNLV to watch presidential debate

For UNLV Honors College freshman and debate forum member Ember Smith, the 2016 presidential election represents her first dive into the political sphere.

Smith, an 18-year-old from Henderson, joined about 250 others from local high school and middle school debate teams and her university teammates on Monday to watch the first of three debates between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from inside a UNLV lecture hall.

Smith said she got exposed to debate as an eighth-grader but didn’t really get into the political side until the current election.

“It’s necessary for us to be involved politically,” Smith said. “I’m actually aware for the first time.”

Smith called much of the rhetoric from the candidates this cycle — especially Trump’s intent to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico — “outlandish.” She said she expects that to continue in coming elections.

“This is now the norm,” Smith said. “People who are supposed to be representing an entire nation are saying things that are entirely unconventional and can be sometimes offensive.”

Smith said she was expecting plenty of humor in the debate. And after 90 minutes of back and forth between Clinton and Trump, she said she got exactly that.

“I think there was certainly an entertainment factor,” she said. “But I’d much rather watch an education debate.”

Jacob Thompson, director of the UNLV debate forum, said the debate was a great way for young minds to grasp the democratic process. He added that he was impressed at the number of students who showed up on a Monday night.

After the debate, students peppered Thompson with questions ranging from the impact of fact checkers on politics to how gender factored into the debate.

As a debate coach himself, he couldn’t have been prouder.

“They’re becoming critical consumers of information before our very eyes,” he said of the students.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Susan G. Komen organization announces 30 grants

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, has awarded 30 new grants to researchers at 18 leading institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The $14 million in grants support the organization’s mission to end breast cancer through funding two key focus areas: research to better detect and treat stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and research to eliminate disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

Mob Month is back at the Clark County Library

For the fifth year the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is making an offer some people find they can’t refuse. Mob Month is coming back to the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, with events Tuesday nights in January.

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]