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October 24, 2012

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Samuel Freedman

Samuel Freedman, a religion columnist for The New York Times, came to campus Tuesday for this year’s Medenhall Lecture. Members of the DePauw community gathered at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church to hear his speech about religion in the current presidential campaign. Freedman believes that unlike past elections, religions other than Christianity have played a large role in this particular election.

FREEDMAN: "Almost every major religious group in some way has been part of the narrative of this election."

Freedman pointed out that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormonism surprisingly hasn’t been a large factor in the election. But he said the religion of the vice presidential candidates has.

FREEDMAN: "Joe Biden and Paul Ryan really embody the spectrum of Catholic teaching on a variety of issue and what’s sometimes called being a cafeteria Catholic, which means choosing — not so much what parts of Catholic teaching to follow — but which parts that you do follow you most emphasize."

Freedman is also a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and an author of six books. He is one of about 90 speakers since the annual lecture series began in 1913.

Student Run Company Losing Business, Plans On Re-Focusing Mission

One student-made technology business has experienced a tough transition this semester. Sophomore George Velasquez brought his technology service company, "IT’s For You," to DePauw last year. His mission statement has been to provide tech aid to customers for an affordable price. However, business has decreased since DePauw has expanded their tech service to all of Greencastle. Velasquez had 40 customers by January last year, and 80 by May. This growth was due to expansion from computer fixing to all mobile devices. He has had to limit service to only repairs on iPhones. That has resulted in 18 customers so far this year. Velasquez is hoping to re-focus his mission statement in order to gain back service. He has had success meeting with alumni which he believes may help him bring his company to a more interactive level.

Review of the Final Presidential Debate and Impact.

DePauw’s debate team captain Jimmy Kirkpatrick analyzed the final presidential debate. Kirkpatrick says both candidates were successful in creating sound bytes. The debate topic was foreign policy. The candidates took different approaches to address foreign policy issues. Kirkpatrick says Obama relied on empirical analysis, and as current president, had the upper hand. Romney relied on theoretical analysis capitalizing on the decisions Obama has made in the past. Kirkpatrick says Obama was more grounded in his policy choices while Romney critiqued Obama’s choices. Kirkpatrick says Obama used more successful debate tactics through his responses to Romney. Kirkpatrick says the debates do have an impact on voters but does not determine the winner.

The debate showed a shift in the momentum of the candidates. Romney began the series of debates strong, and Obama had more momentum coming out of the final debate.

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