Student panel analyzes gubernatorial debate – News

From television and social media ads to direct mail, candidates are campaigning for their offices. Debates were also held, the most famous of which was for the governorship of Illinois. With Debate Director Shanna Carlson leading the way, the School of Communication helped students understand the issues and candidates.

The gubernatorial debate was held in Braden Auditorium in the Bone Student Center on Thursday, October 6, and was televised statewide. Carlson arranged with others to host a party and student panel after the gubernatorial debate.

Illinois gubernatorial candidates, incumbent governor J. B. Pritzker (Democrat), Republican candidate and State Senator Darren Bailey debated. The debate held at ISU was the first of two debates, each lasting one hour. The 2022 Illinois Gubernatorial Debate was sponsored by AARP and Illinois and the University of Illinois.

Shanna Carlson, Director of Debate, School of Communication.

Due to the limited number of tickets sold for the debate, Carlson hosted a party during the live stream of the debate, with a student body hosting a post-debate discussion in the Bone Student Center’s Prairie Room. The party and student panel were open to all ISU students, while the student panel consisted of six nominees from the School of Communication, the Department of Politics and Public Administration, the Student Government Association and the Center for Civic Engagement.

Carlson worked with the Illinois State University Center for Civic Engagement, the Department of Politics and Government, the Office of the President, the Forensic Science Association, the School of Communication and the Student Government Association to plan the party and discussion.

The student panel discussion has brought many benefits to students, including increasing student participation in politics, campaigning for students to register to vote, and educating students about voting by mail. Back in 2020, the School of Communication, hosted by Carlson and Dr. Joseph Zompetti, hosted a presidential debate viewing party to promote learning and political awareness.

“Just like the student debate during the 2020 presidential debates, this event helped create a more informed group of voters,” Carlson said.

Before the debate, Carlson discussed topics such as common fallacy arguments; Dr. Carl Palmer, Associate Professor of Politics and Public Administration, covered current and general policy issues affecting students; and Harriet Steinbach, COM alumna and assistant director of the ISU Center for Civic Engagement, explained the importance of voting in the midterm elections.

The Illinois general election for governor will be held on November 8, 2022. To register to vote, visit

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