USC student political parties to clash on the economy, guns on campus during debate

University of South Carolina’s student political parties will debate some of the most contentious issues of the day during their annual debate on Tuesday night.

USC College Republicans, College Democrats and College Libertarians will host the annual Carolina Clash at the ballroom in Russell House on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.

Presidents of the three organizations met to decide which topics the debate will focus on. They include:

  • Concealed carry permits on USC’s campus
  • Jobs/the economy
  • Immigration
  • Medicaid expansion
  • the conflict in Syria

“We wanted to have some conflict in ideas,” said College Republicans President Jake Vining. “Like, we talked about lowering tuition, and everybody is on board with that.”

Each party will have two members debate, the presidents of the three organizations said.

“We’re gonna come out pretty strong for Medicaid,” said College Democrats President Logan Martin. “I think we have a pretty strong argument for expanding Medicaid, so we’ll do pretty well on that.”

Unlike most major presidential debates, there will be an X-factor in this debate: the Libertarian party. The socially liberal, fiscally conservative party will side with Democrats on some issues and Republicans on others, president Bryce Wilson said.

“Currently, there isn’t a fiscally responsible party on the hill,” Wilson said. “They just spend their money on different things.”

Avery Wilks, a University of South Carolina alumnus and reporter for The State, will moderate the debate.

This will be the first Carolina Clash for Wilks, who said he didn’t choose the questions, only tweaked those the parties sent him.

“They’ve kind of organized it ... I’m just kind of helping out,” Wilks said. “These are not kids who are just sleepwalking their way through college. These kids are involved.”