Democratic presidential debate puts TSU in national spotlight

The third Democratic presidential debate kicks off in Houston Thursday evening. The debate will take place at Texas Southern University, a historically black college.

Students at TSU say they’re excited to have a debate of this caliber at their university. They’re hoping the national attention will pique the interest of incoming students and also address the issue of funding for other HBCUs.

Ten presidential hopefuls will take the stage Thursday.

Nahab Fahnbulleh, a TSU senior and political science major, said he hopes to pursue a career in politics in the future.  

“It’s being at the right place at the right time, for the right reasons,” Fahnbulleh said.

Some students are hoping the national spotlight will bring much-needed exposure to the historically black college.

“I feel like TSU is an underdog compared to some of the other bigger HBCU’s,” Brittney Sheppard said.

“Not many students or young students, high school graduates know about our school,” Trey Pope said.

Members of the debate team said they’ll be listening closely to every word, critically analyzing and fact-checking the candidates on the spot.

“Everyone has a device in their pocket. All they have to do is Google what they’re saying, or what they say they have done,” said Marcus Nash.

“I’m definitely going to be looking at it with a more critical eye,” Treyvon Waddy said.

Those currently undecided on which candidate to support in 2020, hope Thursday’s debate will provide clarity. Ultimately, students say they’re searching for a candidate with strong policies, particularly when it comes to gun reform.

“I’m hoping they address issues like reproductive health, student funding, gun violence. All of the things that kind of tend directly towards us. We can’t change things overnight but each and every step, each and every voice makes an impact,” said Adunola Rachelosinuga said.

Several students also said they care less about the charisma or personality of a candidate, and more about the policies in which they stand for.

The debate kicks off Thursday at 7:00 p.m.