One More Round for Clinton and Trump in Student-Led Mock Presidential Debate

Published: November 04, 2016 debate

From immigration and foreign affairs to NAFTA, the military and education, students Rosalina Cruz (Donald Trump) and Razieh Arabi (Secretary Hillary Clinton) took on the critic al issues which have fueled this historic 2016 presidential election in a mock presidential debate.

In his opening remarks, Student Government President Farbod Moghadam noted the overwhelming popularity of the presidential election debates: “Whether we are republicans or democrats or belong to another party, we should all appreciate that this year’s election has captivated voters from all political persuasions not only across our nation but around the world.”

Farbod introduced the student moderators of the debate, Zun Kit Ooi, Sabrina Alho and Sarai Flores, then the ‘presidential candidates’ who each shook hands with members of the audience as they walked toward the stage and took their places behind their lecterns.

Ted Rosen, Business Department Associate Professor and faculty adviser/coach for the event, pointed to the hard work and research that went into the mock debate, stating, “The students spent a great deal of time preparing for this event, and I’m extremely proud of their knowledge of the issues and their outstanding ability to recreate the intense and demanding atmosphere that has been characteristic of the actual Presidential Debates.” Professor Rosen added that the debate was not scripted and students had to leverage their public speaking skills and their ability to think on their feet.

In addition to recreating the debate itself, audience members who asked the candidates questions played a significant role in the event, particularly Ken Bone, better known as “the man in the red sweater”, played by student Louis Gonzalez. Another audience member was Karl Becker, played by student Kim Chen. Security was provided by student ‘Secret Service’ agents, Carolyn Curtis and Shovan Bala.

Special thanks for their strong support went to Dr. Diane B. Call, President of Queensborough Community College; Michel A. Hodge, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; Gisela Rivera, Director of Student Activities; and Raymond Volel, Student Life Specialist, Student Activities.

In existence for ten years, Queensborough’s Mock Trial Team competes in the national inter-collegiate, undergraduate mock trial tournament conducted by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA).  This year some 600 teams from colleges and universities across the nation are competing in the AMTA tournaments. Teams compete by trying the same case. This year, in a civil employment discrimination case students are participating as witnesses or as lawyers; testifying after studying detailed factual statements and exhibits.  As lawyers, students present opening and closing statements, conduct direct and cross- examination and make evidentiary objections.  All team members are scored before a panel of practicing lawyers and actual judges. For more information about participating on the Mock Trial Team, please contact Professor Rosen or Elaine Thompson, a faculty member in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, and one of the team’s two current faculty advisors/coaches.

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