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We Asked Drake University Students Why They Wanted To See Donald Trump

Donald Trump managed to hold the attention during Thursday night's debate even though he wasn't at the debate. In fact, he controlled the attention by not going to the debate.

Citing his ongoing feud with (or, some might say, fear of) Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly, who moderated Thursday's debate, Trump chose to boycott the debate and instead host his own event.

Trump hosted his Special Event to Benefit Veterans Organizations at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, which has seen its fair share of candidates this election season, especially with the Iowa caucus coming up on Monday.

Elite Daily asked Drake students waiting on line to get into the event and hanging out when the show was over why they decided to try to see Trump.

Many students made it clear they weren't Trump fans, but they wanted to be responsible voters.

I just wanted to experience it and see what he has to say. I'm in no way supporting him, but I think it's just good to hear the opposition. — Linzie

I am not a Trump supporter, but I think part of being a well-informed voter — and this is the first election [my group of friends and I] are voting in — is seeing the opinions of people you don't necessarily agree with or see eye to eye with. And also the spectacle of it all, you know? — Hannah

I just think it's interesting to hear different perspectives on every issue. It's part of being a well-informed voter. And if Trump does win, I think it'd be horrible if he won the election and nobody knew what his platform was by not listening. So, that's why I'm here. — Allison


Some students were just excited at the opportunity to see Trump in person.

I mean, it's a free event on campus. I'm trying to see all the candidates I can… Trump's doing really well in the polls, so if he becomes the next president, that's pretty cool to say that I could see him. — Hanna

I just didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see him in person. I am not necessarily a full supporter, but any time I can see a candidate in person is awesome. — Ben


Others wanted to see what Trump is really like, outside of media talk.

I just wanted to see more along the lines of how politicians are morally inept — to see if it actually carries over from how everyone says Donald Trump is. I'm just curious to see if he's as bad as everyone says he is. — Brandon

I really wanted to get more involved in what's going on politically, and I've heard a lot about Trump, but I wanted to see in person — to see if what I see on TV and what I read in reports is the same as who he is when he is speaking. — Alicia


A few students were vocally against Trump. Chants of “We love veterans, Trump loves war” got some attendees kicked out during the event.

I'm not a supporter of him, but I do want to hear what his views are and what he plans to do for our country. And I'm also here to stand up for anything that I don't think is right. — Malia

I thought it'd be a good laugh. — Maria

I came out tonight because… I want to be vocal that I do not appreciate him being where I live… I really despise his stances on a lot of issues. I feel a lot of hatred coming from him. And I don't want that to be on my campus, and I want him to know that, that the students of Iowa do not want him here. — Kate, wearing a shirt saying “Just Another Sl*t On Birth Control

My name is Sienna and I have exactly the same sentiments [as Kate]. — Sienna, wearing the same shirt


Drake Student Body President Kevin Maisto was very diplomatic.

I, as student body president, like to participate in all the events that take place on campus. Having such a high-profile event for our university is fantastic, so I definitely wanted to be there and witness it in person.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our campus. It's really cool when you are watching CNN or CBS or any of the big things and they say, ‘Live at Drake University tomorrow night' and you're like, ‘Hey, that's my school!' I get a lot of students that I was friends with in high school or family friends back home who send me messages, and it's pretty exciting.

But, definitely a little more controversial of an event, and so it's good that we have a really fantastic student body that really participates in the political process and is open to hearing a lot of different perspectives.


Citations: Donald Trump Details His Debate Night Plans (The New York Times), Fox News says Donald Trump is afraid of Megyn Kelly (Politico)

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Alexandra Svokos

Editor

Alexandra is the Senior News Editor at Elite Daily. She previously worked at HuffPost and has been published in Vox, Glamour, Refinery 29, Mic, Cosmopolitan and Quartz. Find her on Twitter / FB @asvokos and at tinyletter.com/asvokos
Alexandra is the Senior News Editor at Elite Daily. She previously worked at HuffPost and has been published in Vox, Glamour, Refinery 29, Mic, Cosmopolitan and Quartz. Find her on Twitter / FB @asvokos and at tinyletter.com/asvokos

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