AIT and Local University Students Hold "Mock U.S. Presidential Debate"
Students from National Taiwan University (NTU), National Chengchi University (NCCU), and Tamkang University (TMU) participated in the program as U.S. presidential candidates and their supporters; students from Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung participated via a digital video link-up as U.S. voters.
Each Taipei student team researched the policies and positions of one presidential candidate and elected one representative to take on the role of the politician during the debate: NTU senior Tzu-Wei Chung fielded questions as President Bush; NCCU sophomore Chia-Hsiu Li acted as Nader; and TMU first-year graduate student Shih-Wei Cheng took the podium as Kerry.
Three local scholars acted as panelists who grilled the "candidates" on their positions regarding the Asia-Pacific region, national security, the U.S. economy, Iraq, and other issues: Professor Thomas B. Lee from the Sino-American Economic and Cultural Council; Professor Yih-Chou Liu from NCCU; and Professor Tuan Y. Cheng from NCCU. In addition, Professor Ping-Cheng Li from National Sun Yat-Sen University drafted questions presented by several of his students via the digital video link.
The mock debate ended with the Taipei and Kaohsiung audiences casting votes to decide which of the "candidates" deserved to be "President" based on his/her performance in the debate.
The director of the ACC, AIT Cultural Affairs Officer Andrew Dickson, announced the winner - "George W. Bush" - but noted that all the "candidates" were so convincing and engaging that deciding whom to vote for was very difficult. "Their outstanding performance was well-represented by the fact that of the 175 votes cast, the winner won by less than 10 votes."
Professor Cheng also praised the students for being so well prepared about the issues and personalities of the candidates, and said all three "candidates" were "winners." In addition, he said the program provided an entertaining and useful opportunity for both the students and professors to learn more about the 2004 U.S. election.