About 70 Iona students gathered in the LaPenta Student Union building at Iona College to listen to the first presidential debate and discuss the issues with Patch.
The event—in which students watched the CNN broadcast of the debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, was co-sponsored by Democracy Matters, Model UN and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. Dr. Tricia Mulligan, chairwoman and associate professor of political science, and Dawn Insanalli, Iona's director of media relations, helped facilitate the evening.
Patch was represented at the viewing party by Regional Editor William Demarest and New Rochelle Editor Michael Woyton, who moderated a panel discussion with a select group of political science students and the group at large.
The panel was comprised of Amanda Kelly, 21, and Rachel Paquin, 21, members of the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society; Kate Roberts, 20, and Andrea Rodgers, 20, of Democracy Matters; Laura Lubrano, 20, of Model UN, and Andrew Jordan, 20.
The reviews from the crowd were mixed with many not impressed by either candidate's performance.
During the debate, Romney mentioned that college graduates were having a tough time finding employment.
Lubrano said she didn't hear anything specific from Romney on how he would remedy that.
"Mitt Romney said he was going to increase jobs, increase jobs," she said, "but he didn't say how. He never seemed to lay out a plan."
Lubrano got the same impression from Obama.
"He had great ideas but not really a lot of feedback on how to follow through with them," she said.
Rodgers said that Obama wanted to invest in education "so there's more training … so that more people are trained and potentially get more jobs."
The next debate will be between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. It will occur Oct. 11.
Obama and Romney will meet again to debate Oct. 16, for a town meeting covering foreign and domestic policy, and Oct. 22, for a discussion on foreign policy.
Patch will have more about debate reaction throughout the day.