Lipscomb students preach the importance of voting

Lipscomb students preach the importance of voting

As election day winds down and the nation gets closer to learning who will be president for the next four years, some Lipscomb students were eager to share their opinions about just how important it is for American citizens to vote. Political science major Austin Travis said voting is a key part of keeping a republic and the government running. “I think it’s so important,” said Travis, “Turning out to vote is how we keep our democracy and our system of government. Elective leaders don’t have a mandate to govern if nobody turns out for their elections. They don’t really know if they have the support of the absolute majority of the voting population because they just don’t turn out to vote.” Political science major Elena Walker said she was just thrilled to get the opportunity to exercise the right to vote in a presidential election for the first time. “It was exciting,” said Walker. “But I think also with the two options it was kind of hard to choose I think with the current political environment. “But it’s still important to vote, so I voted. I think its really important because there are a lot of countries around the world where people don’t even get the opportunity to vote. Especially being a woman, that’s kind of an anomaly in today’s world, so I think it’s really important that we exercise our right even whether or not we think it’s going to have an effect or not.”   Lumination Network will have you covered with the details as the election day winds down and the decision is made. Check back here for more information...
The uncertain reality of election night 2020

The uncertain reality of election night 2020

As the reality of the upcoming election sets in, uncertainty about what the night will look like sets in across the nation. During a global pandemic, the US has had an increase in the number of mail-in-ballots, resulting in questions over when exactly we’ll know our next president. “I’ve read about several scenarios, and nobody really has a definitive answer about it,” says Dr. Marc Schwerdt of Lipscomb’s political science department. “Either the victory is going to be by a razor-thin margin, or we really don’t have a good handle on exactly what turnouts going to be like, and you’ll be able to see a fairly significant victory.” So far, voters have cast more than 94 million ballots for this election, a number that makes up more than 68% of voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election. In Texas, a possible swing state for this year’s election, voter turnout has already exceeded that of 2016. Schwerdt believes that the record number of early voters can be contributed to a rise in total turnout but also fears over Covid-19, he says “Certainly, we are having record early voter turnout, but I think it’s also driven a lot by people who are scared that if they try to go on election day, they’ll have a higher risk of catching something,” “This is happening especially among older voters or maybe more vulnerable voters who have a pre-existing condition of some sort. I also think we will see higher turnout because that just seems to be the trend for the last two or three elections.” However, Schwerdt doesn’t see this record turnout favoring one candidate over another. “What’s concerning...
Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to Supreme Court ahead of election

Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to Supreme Court ahead of election

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court on Monday, becoming the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court. The proceedings were more controversial than usual as this vote now gives the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority. Three of these justices have now been appointed by Trump. A primary source of contention came from the vote taking place so close to Election Day. Although the Constitution allows such a vote, the issue was one of precedent. In 2016, Republican senators refused to consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland after Antonin Scalia’s death because the election was nine months out. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to consider Garland in 2016, has currently been a driving force to get Barrett confirmed only weeks before the election. McConnell claimed this time is different because the Senate and Presidency are currently held by the same party. Barret was confirmed in a 52-48 vote that was almost entirely split down party lines (with the exception of Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine). Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called it “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States.” Schumer feels that the Nov. 3 election, in which millions of Americans have already voted, should have been the determining factor in who names a new Supreme Court justice. After her swearing-in ceremony by Justice Clarence Thomas, Barrett stated, “It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences…The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor and that...
Up the Boulevard, Donald Trump and Joe Biden vie for America’s vote

Up the Boulevard, Donald Trump and Joe Biden vie for America’s vote

Last night, Nashville played a part in history as Belmont University hosted the final 2020 Presidential debate. Streets filled with demonstrations and protests, national media set up camp and two presidential candidates arrived in music city with the hopes of winning America’s vote. After some previously announced changes, Thursday’s debate was a stark contrast to the first meeting of these candidates in late September. Muted mics and stricter segments gave voters a chance to hear each candidates’ policies and plans. “This is a completely different debate than the first debate and I am really happy about that,” said political science professor Susan Haynes to the Q&A audience at SGA’s virtual debate watch party. “I was expecting just the chaos of the first debate where I couldn’t even weigh-in, just because you could hardly tell what was being said.” The 90-minute debate consisted of 15-minute segments on topics such as COVID-19, foreign policy, the economy, race, climate change and more. Key moments of the night included President Trump’s talk of an upcoming Covid-19 vaccine, he said “We have a vaccine that’s coming, it’s ready.” Currently, the FDA has not yet made approval for a Covid-19 vaccine. Four US clinical vaccine trials are in Phase 3 including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The FBI’s investigation on foreign election interference was brought up as part of the foreign policy segment of the debate. “They will pay a price if I’m elected,” said Former Vice President Biden, speaking on the interference by China, Russia and Iran. “They’re interfering with American sovereignty. That’s what’s going on.” One of the more “viral” moments of the night went to Joe...
PREVIEW: Second presidential debate held two miles from Lipscomb’s campus

PREVIEW: Second presidential debate held two miles from Lipscomb’s campus

Tonight, Belmont University will host the second and final presidential debate.  As part of the increased security surrounding the debate, freshman students from several campus dorms were forced to leave and stay elsewhere. Affected freshmen were sent to Gaylord Opryland to make way for secret service. “A week after we moved into campus things started transforming completely…and about three weeks ago, my residence hall found out that we would have to be moved off campus to Opryland hotel,” Says Becca Pavelich, a freshman at Belmont University.  “I wasn’t complaining, Opryland is a beautiful place to go. It was just definitely a shock that we found out so close to the debate that we’d be having to leave.” According to the Belmont Vision, The university provides students with transportation, meals and internet access during their predicted 30-hour stint at Opryland. Pavelich says “we’re honestly not sure what time we get to come back to campus, but we were happy to be able to go somewhere as nice as Opryland.” For Pavelich, the experience of a debate on campus has been a positive one, she says  “It is just so surreal. I’ve been watching the other debates and paying attention and to the news but it’s just so cool to think that all of that has been happening on our campus,” “It’s happening tonight on our campus and at our event center that we walk by every day. I know it’s just a great opportunity for our school to be exposed and it’s just an honor to have the president and  former vice president here on campus.” Lipscomb University campus security is...
Lipscomb Security prepares campus ahead of final presidential debate

Lipscomb Security prepares campus ahead of final presidential debate

Tonight, the final presidential debate between current President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will occur just down the road from Lipscomb at Belmont University. In light of this historic event, Lipscomb’s security team has spent weeks making plans to ensure that the campus remains as safe as possible. “For the last month, we’ve really been doing some deep preparation, just getting ready for this evening because we want the campus to remain safe and we want the experience for our students and the employees and any guests that are in the area to be as smooth as possible,” said Kyle Dickerson, Executive Director of Security & Safety. The security team has also been in contact with state and federal law enforcement in regard to making preparations for the night of the debate. “We’ve been talking with the law enforcement partners that are a part of the actual event itself, which includes TBI, FBI, the secret service, just a lot of the big federal entities that are a part of it but also some local entities as well. They’ve been giving us really good information that is helping us feel really good about the evening, which is nice. What they have said is that they are expecting typical things for a debate,” said Dickerson. One of the biggest concerns ahead of the debate is the traffic congestion due to the many road closures around Belmont. “What we think is going to be a really big deal is traffic congestion for the night,” said Dickerson. “Most people don’t go to traffic congestion as their first concern for something like this,...