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Two Political Science Students to Represent SC at College Debate

Quick Facts

 Elisabeth West and Tyra Holcombe were chosen to represent Winthrop in College Debate 2016.
 West and Holcombe are two of only three students selected to represent South Carolina.
 College Debate 2016 is a national initiative to engage young voters in the 2016 presidential election.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Two Winthrop University political science majors have been selected to participate in College Debate 2016, a national initiative to engage young voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Elisabeth West of Hartsville, South Carolina, and Tyra Holcombe of Bluffton, South Carolina, were chosen from submitted applications to represent Winthrop in College Debate 2016, a technology and social media initiative to catalyze discussions among young voters across the country about the issues that matter most to them, such as college costs, climate change, healthcare and immigration.

West and Holcombe are two of only three students selected to represent South Carolina.

The two students will travel to Dominican University in San Rafael, California, to meet nearly 125 other college delegates from across the country on the Dominican campus June 2-3 to discuss organizing events on their campuses and using social media to expand the discussions. Over the summer, West, Holcombe and other student delegates will facilitate discussions with fellow students on campus and through social media to encourage students to share their perspectives on important issues. Delegates will then return to Dominican Sept. 9-10 for the 2016 College Convention. The convention will feature a 90-minute Town Hall discussion to be live streamed to delegates’ colleges and universities.

The final product will be a memo to the moderators of the Presidential Debates that will outline the key issues the college delegates want the candidates to address.

West, the incoming chair of Winthrop’s Council of Student Leaders, wanted to be a part of this initiative because she thinks that political and civic engagement, specifically, for college students, is extremely important. “I hope to gain more leadership skills, and learn more effective and new ways to get peers to become politically engaged,” West said.

Holcombe’s main goal in wanting to participate in this opportunity was to encourage civic engagement on campus and beyond. “I wanted to be a part of an initiative to revitalize young voters to know that their participation and interests do matter and to reach out to them on a more personal level to increase voter participation,” Holcombe said.

“We are excited to have two Winthrop political science students representing our state at this event. We look forward to hearing about their ideas for engaging the campus community in voting and elections, and plan to work with them on implementation of some of those ideas,” said Katarina Moyon, co-director of the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, which is paying the students’ registration fees.

For more information, please contact Monica Bennett, director of communications, at or 803/323-2236.

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