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Bentley Students Debate Key Election Issues

November 1, 2004

WALTHAM, Mass. - On the eve of perhaps the most compelling presidential election ever, and one where the impact of young voters will be most significant, the Bentley Democrats and Republicans squared off in a spirited campus debate last night at Wilder Pavilion. Nearly 150 students gathered as President Joseph Morone, debate moderator, noted the significant impact their demographic would have on the election.

"Never before have we been faced with an election with this level of intensity. This would've seemed unthinkable even eight years ago," he said. "When everything is said and done, odds are that what will determine this election is the role of the young voters. I congratulate all of you for what you are doing." When he then asked if there were still any undecided voters in the crowd, no one raised their hands.

The pre-determined format of the debate included: a five-minute opening statement by each party; a five-minute rebuttal statement; five direct questions for each side, with one minute allowed for response and 30 seconds for the opposition rebuttal; audience questions for each party; and finally six-minute closing statements by each party.

While the Republicans praised President Bush's leadership after the events of September 11 and the rise in the economy during their opening statement, the Democrats attested that America rushed into war without a plan to win peace.

"We see a growing insurgency without an end in sight," said Chris Campbell. "America can do better and will do better under the administration of John Kerry."

During the rebuttal period, Republican Jacob Wintersteen noted the misstatements by his Democratic counterparts, including John Kerry's backing of the war in Iraq, President Bush's tax cuts and a reviving economy, and the importance of homeland security.

Questions from the audience included topics such as the possibility of Kerry raising taxes, Iran as a threat, and future problems facing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

The one thing both parties agreed on in their closing statements - that this year's election could be life-changing. "This is the most important election of our lifetime, and a truly pivotal time in world history," said Republican Matt Calvey.

"We're Americans first. What we need is a president with strong principles, but one who acknowledges strong opinions," said Democrat Charles Gascon. "The strongest element of our democracy is the voice of the people."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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