CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts

How did ‘the youth’ react to the first presidential debate?

From Hillary Clinton’s striking red dress, to her opponent Donald J. Trump’s repeated rhetoric, to the passionate prose regarding security and international relations, the whole nation is busy talking and tweeting about Tuesday’s presidential debate.

But what do those who may not even be eligible to vote have to say about this pivotal event?

High School Insiders sound off below on the most exciting, aggravating and important moments from tonight’s event:

“The most interesting aspect for me was being a young journalist myself, and watching the debate through that lens. It was incredible to see how quickly social media picked up on the errors and excitement.” – Joey Safchik from CHAMPS Charter High School in Los Angeles.

“I can now say with 100% certainty that I still have absolutely no idea what any of Trump’s actual plans are. On the flip side, my school held a debate watch party and it was really cool to be in the same room as tons of my classmates, staring dumbfoundedly at Trump and cheering Hillary. I felt like I bonded with them and was reminded of how lucky I am to go to such a civically engaged school.” – Rebecca Castillo, Swathmore College in Swarthmore, Pa.

“I think both candidates catered to their base vote. Hillary stayed calm and relaxed (although she did throw some nasty blows) and Trump threw out some pretty outlandish statements. In any other case, it would be clear that Clinton was the winner. But this isn’t any normal case, it’s 2016.” – Caleb Ragan, John W. North High School in Los Angeles.

“I wished that there was a way to allow the moderator to interject more easily so he or she can do more moderating. Maybe if the microphones for the candidates were muted (or at least dialed down) when their time limits came to an end, or the moderator needed to interject, or it was otherwise not the candidate’s turn to speak, debates could proceed more smoothly and with fewer ad hominem attacks.” – Simone Chu, Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Calif.

“Had a conversation with my gracious journalism professor who let us watch the debate right now. I wondered if moderators were not fulfilling their journalistic responsibilities by letting candidates skirt around a question. As you may be able to tell, I am of that school of thought and was disappointed Holt would not flat-out condemn Donald on Iraq, letting his voice be out-shouted. My professor reminded me that it is hard to moderate, and that a moderator does not want to be in the position of fighting with any particular candidate. It’s a hard-line to toe.” – Michael Meeks, CSUN in Northridge, Calif.

“I honestly don’t think a good legit debate can exist between Clinton and Trump. A Pulitzer Prize speaker came to my college and talked about why it’s useless nowadays to try to reach across the political aisle to discuss: because in this era, Republicans and Democrats live in fundamentally different realities. And there is no better example than this debate.” Titus Wu, University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

“The disrespect shown in this election, against other candidates and their supporters, is astonishing. Trump’s constant interjections and interruptions were entirely unprofessional and broke the protocols previously established. The fact that the moderator had such a minuscule impact should be changed before the next debate.” – Josie Winslow, CHAMPS in Los Angeles.

“I can’t really speak for other schools, but we were big on Bernie before you know, he lost. And everyone was like I ain’t voting for Hillary. This debate changed a lot of those opinions.” – Luis Valente, Southeast High School in Los Angeles.

How did the debate impact you or your classmates? Share with us in the comments below or by tweeting @hsinsider .

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