First Pizza and Politics takes off with 2016 election discussion

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The pizza went quick, but the seats went quicker as Dixie State University Institute of Politics and Public Affairs held their first Pizza and Politics. 

Over a 100 students sat in the Gardner Student Center’s lounge Thursday at noon and listened to how the United States ended up with today’s Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, and the independent presidential candidates.

Microphones passed between hands in the audience as Henrie Walton, Director of the IOP and community, state and federal relations officer for DSU, and James Kener, a senior English major from Murray — also student director of IOP, asked the audience questions about the 2016 election. 

Walton asked the audience if Trump was a result of frustration with the Republican party leadership.

Brent Meads, a freshman business major from Pahrump, Nevada, said Trump isn’t an extremist.

“Trump was frustrated with the leadership in both parties, but he just happens to side more with the Republican Party” Meads said.

Richard Cracoft, a freshman finance major from Las Vegas, responded by saying Trump is a people-pleaser.

“[Trump] isn’t anti-Obama; he is [representing] a populace,” Cracoft said.

Kener transitioned his questions to the Democratic Party and asked who was in favor of Clinton. 

Deanne Murray, assistant professor of education, was one of the few audience members to raise her hand. Shortly after she stood up, she said she supported Clinton because of her experience.

“Hello, we don’t need any more enemies,” Murray said. “We don’t need a bully, but somebody who will sit and actually talk with world leaders.”

Kener said he wants Pizza and Politics to be an opportunity for students to be educated on politics so they can go to the voting polls knowing who they want to vote for and why.

“Education and voting have to go hand-in-hand and are duties of ours as citizens,” Walton said.

Walton said besides ordering a lot more pizza, the IOP will continue to talk about controversial topics to keep students involved with things they care about.

“It was a good thing to build off of and have students participate [with] genuine interest in what is going on,” Kener said. “That motivates IOP to keep hosting these events.” 

The next Pizza and Politics will be Sept. 15 at noon in the Gardner Student Center lounge.