The University’s radio station, WVBU, will be hosting an Election Night event in the Bison on Nov. 6, which will feature a mix of live debates, discussion, entertainment and video elements. The festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and last until approximately 11 p.m., depending on the results of the election. The event will be simulcast via 90.5 FM and WVBU’s web stream at www.wvbu.com.
“The idea was to host an event that is unique and informative both in person and on the radio,” WVBU Station Manager Alex Alam ’13 said. “We’re really excited about the combination of video and live discussion, but as a radio station, we wanted to also focus on the experience for those listening but not in the room.”
The debate aspect will take place on a stage in the Bison and will feature three debates between students affiliated with every major political club at the University. There will be live interviews with faculty and professors from various backgrounds and political orientations, as well as prerecorded interviews from those who cannot attend the event but still wanted to contribute. Finally, live results will be shared as they come in, assisted by commentary written by students in a journalism writing class.
“Our hope is that the debates will foster interesting and relevant conversations about the political landscape. Our ultimate goal is really to start a conversation that lasts beyond just the night of Nov. 6. The implications of this election will probably affect Bucknell students more than many realize right now,” WVBU Co-Music Director Charlie Geitz ’15 said.
The event is designed to have a structured format, but could nevertheless have unpredictable moments. For example, the moderators will use questions prewritten by WVBU, but the debate will also be shaped by the students who attend as well as by what is said in the debates.
Alam and Geitz want this to be an opportunity and outlet for students to voice opinions that they may otherwise have been hesitant to share. They are strongly encouraging and hoping for audience participation. They want to facilitate serious conversation and interaction between students around campus and encourage anyone interested in getting involved in any way to email Geitz at cmg020 or to either of them during the event on Election Night.
“A lot of traditional media coverage not only is from one political viewpoint, but is also very one-sided, since people just watch instead of speaking as well. So we wanted to create a new type of political event, one that can be a real conversation without feeling forced or simply self-affirming,” Alam said.
“I have been encouraged to see that many Bucknell students have been engaged in this year’s campaign, and I think it’s great that WVBU is going to provide a campus venue for information about the national election results as they unfold next week,” said Scott Meinke, Associate Professor of Political Science.