State of the Union Watch Party and Discussion

Over 100 students attended the State of the Union watch party hosted by the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) and the USC Unruh Institute of Politics.


See more State of the Union photos on Flickr.

KTLA and Telemundo covered the event alongside student representatives from Daily Trojan, Neon Tommy, and Annenberg Television News.

Press Coverage:

After President Obama’s speech, we had a discussion and Q&A session with Dan Schnur, CCLP senior fellow and USC Unruh Institute Director (on leave); Bill Simon, co-founder and co-chairman of William E. Simon & Sons, LLC; Sarah Herald, USC College Democrats president; and Jack Merritt, USC College Republicans speakers’ director.

The panel was moderated by Kerstyn Olson, interim director of the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and Jonathan Wilcox, a former gubernatorial speechwriter and president of Multiplicity Media.


The panel answered student questions on topics ranging from Guantánamo Bay to gun control. Dan Schnur commented on the lack of any mention of the debt crisis, saying that the deficit wasn’t a big issue this year simply because “neither party wants to talk about it.”

The Daily Trojan asked students what they thought about the panel discussion, reporting that “the panel capably tackled the tough issues.”

Political science student Annie Wanless commented, “I thought it was interesting that they were all on the same page. It speaks to the neutrality of the speech this year.” Music industry student Eric Dubbury said, “They did a very good job addressing some very challenging topics that generally aren’t easy to address without substantial research and data.”