I Watched the Debate in a Room of Sorority Girls

Last night was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and needless to say, it was a lot like watching a train accident. Actually, no, I would’ve RATHER watched a train accident than that pitiful excuse for civil conversation. I’m not going to divulge in my political opinions today, because I don’t think that I or anyone else is taking away any new insights from the events of last night. What I want to talk about is the way in which I watched the debate, and that was in a living room filled to the brim with my sorority sisters (all wearing masks, all living together, just to clear that up!).

Bid Day 2 Anna Thetard / Her Campus

When people hear the phrase “sorority girl”, I’m guessing most of them don’t think of them as particularly politically active. They’re too concerned with boys, parties, and Instagram, right? Well, a few years ago, I might have agreed with that analysis. In high school, I was conceited enough to believe that I was “too smart” to be in a sorority, as though everyone who decided to rush was entering into close-minded organizations that stay as far away from social and political issues as they can. It is safe to say that my experience as a sorority woman has been quite the opposite of this stereotype. In fact, some of the most passionate political minds I’ve ever met have been in my chapter. Maybe it’s because of how strange and revolutionary this year’s election will be, but I cannot recall the last time I was in a room of that many people who were so invested in the future of our nation.

Additionally, a conversation I’ve had almost daily in my house has been that of “How are you voting?”. Speaking of which - VOTE. VOTE. VOTE!!!

Joe Biden talks with voters Photo by Phil Roeder from Flickr

I arrived at the debate watch party a few minutes late, and by then, the room was full. I wound up sitting on the floor between my roommate and our Vice President of Public Relations. I quickly found that the room was always in one of three states: 1) dead silence 2) rampant yelling 3) shushing at the people who were yelling. Regardless of the present state, everyone was fully invested in watching the fate of our country play out live on television. Whenever a concept was introduced that people were unfamiliar to, such as the idea of K-shaped economic recovery, someone would do the research and send it in the house group chat. We were in this disaster together.

Donald trump at a rally Photo by Gage Skidmore from Flickr

Once it became clear that the high anxiety of the debate’s arguments would never be at ease, we began making jokes to ease the pain. We collectively agreed that Chris Wallace, the moderator who I hope got his well-deserved nap after herding cats for an hour, was making some of the best points of the night, and maybe he should be on the ballot as well. The more exhausted we became, the more we laughed. I think that became our coping mechanism for watching our country’s politics play out like it was the new reality show to replace the Kardashians (sorry Kim, too soon?). In the end, we all decided that no matter how the debate concluded, Saturday Night Live is going to be AMAZING this weekend!

wildfire on rolling hills Photo by Skeeze from Pixabay

But the night wasn’t all fun. A significant portion of the girls in my sorority come from Colorado, which is, as we all know, an incredibly environmentally conscious state. It came as no surprise to me that the hot topic of the night was environmental issues, and a certain candidate’s claim that forest management is the way to stop wildfires set the room ablaze. Issues of Black Lives Matter were also of interest, and it was at this point in the debate that you could hear a pin drop in the room. This was also when people grew frustrated to the point of storming out of the room to get snacks, drive elsewhere, anything to cool off for a minute.

As the debate came to a close, our house mom decided we all needed a treat for being such good, politically active girls. She helped our Vice President of Operations set up an ice cream bar in the kitchen! After a long night of frustration and stress, a sweet treat was exactly what was needed. Is what gets said during those debates in our control? To an extent, no. But you know what is in our control? How many M&Ms we put on our ice cream sundaes!

I Voted stickers scattered on a white surface Photo by Element5 Digital

I knew that watching this debate, while important, wasn’t going to be easy to get through. I am beyond thankful to be surrounded by women who are passionate about the same issues as me. This not only affirms my choice to join a sorority but gives me hope for the future of our generation. Of course, this all means nothing if we don’t act in this next election. Please, VOTE!!! FREAKING VOTE!!!