Pence takes Vice-Presidential Debate

Media watching and working as Governer Mike Pence debates Senator Tim Kaine.
Media watching and working as Governor Mike Pence debates Senator Tim Kaine.
John Podesta expresses reflections and feelings after watching the Vice Presidential Debate.
John Podesta expresses reflections and feelings after watching the Vice Presidential Debate.

Written and Photographed by Ben Gibbs

FARMVILLE, VA- Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence squared off on Tuesday night at Longwood University in the Vice-Presidential debate, and the second debate in a series of four Presidential Debates. Even though it was well debated by both sides, Pence slightly edged out the victory over Kaine. Reporters, journalists, and surrogates all made remarks about how Kaine was too aggressive, interrupting Governor Pence and the moderator multiple times, and repeatedly made comments about Donald Trump remarks about women, Mexicans, and that President Barak Obama wasn’t born in the United States. When asked to defend his running mate’s remarks, Governor Pence struggled, making Senator Kaine re-mention the issue. Towards the end of the debate, Governor Pence denied remarks that both he and Donald Trump made throughout the campaign. Not long after the debate, the Clinton campaign released a video that suggested that Senator Kaine’s goal in the debate was to force Governor Pence to deny both his and Trump’s remarks, so the campaign could make a video expressing the dishonesty of the Trump campaign, ultimately helping Clinton take the victory in Sunday night’s debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Debate Provides “Richer” Student Experience, Says Econ Professor

Longwood economics professor Dr. Jim Lehr speaks outside of Lancaster at Longwood University.
Longwood economics professor Dr. Jim Lehr speaks outside of Lancaster at Longwood University.
Longwood economics professor Dr. Jim Lehr addresses audience on election at Longwood University.
Longwood economics professor Dr. Jim Lehr addresses audience on election at Longwood University.

Written by Halle Parker | Photographed by Ben Gibbs

FARMVILLE, Va. – Several rows of chairs, a podium beneath a tent and light refreshments set the scene for Longwood University’s imitation Ted Talks on the grass of Lancaster Mall.
The professor-led enlightenment talks aim to provide insight into both the speaker’s field and current political issues, intertwining the topics.
After Longwood economics professor Dr. Jim Lehr spoke on Monday afternoon in his designated 10-minute lecture, a student asked him about the need for people to be educated on the nuances of today’s issue. The student asked how can society make more people understand the deeper details of an issue.
Lehr believes the debate’s effect on Longwood exemplifies one way. “I think it’s far beyond just the talks,” he said.
The game theory professor said he used the debate to reimagine his course, incorporating the debate to “provide a richer educational experience.” And other professors at Longwood have done the same; the university said over 30 debate-related courses are being taught during the fall semester.
Lehr says the changing the courses and incorporating the debate allows students to gain more real-life experience.
“For our students, it’s something to learn an idea, it’s one thing to be told how to apply it but then she you’re faced with okay do it, students understandably struggle with that,” he said. “You need to develop that skill of saying what part of my learning is relevant to this and then how do I adapt that and add other things to it, so I can get some value out of it for my life, this debate and ask the other things that come out of it, gives us that opportunity.”
As a faculty member, Lehr expressed his excitement for Longwood hosting the vice presidential debate, especially following the presidential candidates’ performance at Hofstra last Monday, Sept. 26.
“Coming to the heels of the first presidential debate, the eyes on this debate are enormous.”

Out-of-Town Officer “Happy To Help Out”

Virginia Western Police Officer Brandon Pierson standing guard at Brock Commons security checkpoint at Longwood University.
Virginia Western Police Officer Brandon Pierson standing guard at Brock Commons security checkpoint at Longwood University.
Virginia Western Police Officer Brandon Pierson checks credentials of those entering and exiting perimeter.
Virginia Western Police Officer Brandon Pierson checks credentials of those entering and exiting perimeter.

Written by Halle Parker | Photographed by Ben Gibbs

FARMVILLE, Va. – After 11 years in law enforcement, Virginia Western Police Officer Brandon Pierson joined 1,700 other public safety officials from across the nation to secure the largest event of his career as he was looking to transition into another field.
For Pierson, a New Mexico native, unique opportunities like the debate are why he enjoys his job, even as he pursues other options.
“I enjoy the job in general, I’m not stuck behind a desk fit hours on end, which is a big plus,” said Pierson. “You get to do things like this where it’s a one in a lifetime kind of event that you get to partake in.”
As one of nearly 1,300 officials volunteering their time to assist the Longwood Police, Farmville Police and Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office, Pierson said his agency recognized the significance and hefty nature of hosting the 2016 vice presidential debate, rising to the call.
“I’m just happy to help out. Farmville’s a relatively small community and I wouldn’t be surprised if the population doubles or maybe even triples during the event,” said Pierson. “That’s a lot of resources that are required to manage that. Just to help out the officers here because that’s a lot of stress to not only manage the town itself, but the college and all the issues coming in.”
The majority of the incoming safety officials come from Virginia agencies and began to pile in on Saturday, Oct. 1. The debate security force is gradually building their numbers for the main event on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Each agency volunteering their officers saves the Town of Farmville and Longwood University security costs; an estimate of their current expenditure on developingeveloping safety protocol and paying for the rest of their support and overtime for their own departments is not currently known.

The First Time

Written and Photographed by Ben Gibbs

Tiffany, a freshman at Hofstra, was excited for the debate that was set to take place in just a matter of hours. She said it was exciting for her, given she’s a freshman and it’s her first time, even though a Presidential Debate has been held at Hofstra before. She was asked who she supported, and she said Hillary because she doesn’t want Trump. She was told of the inconvenience that the construction is causing students at Longwood. She responded and said that the construction at Hofstra caused a lot of the parking lots to be closed, and that’s annoying. But, she said she was still excited for the debate.

Just Hours Before Debate…

Written and Photographed by Ben Gibbs

Zach Alzorisio, from New Jersey, shared his opinions about the election and the first Presidential Debate. He stated that he is currently an undecided voter and is excited to see what the debate is going to be like. When asked if he was leaning towards one of the candidates, he replied that he is fifty-fifty. He was queried about his festive hat, to which he responded that he got the hat a long time ago in Disney World a long time ago. He never found an appropriate time to wear it until now.

Ben Gibbs Photography