Harkin Institute Hosts SOTU Watch Party for Drake Students

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Students at Drake University gathered on Tuesday night to watch President Trump deliver his State of the Union Address.

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement hosted the watch party at its office near campus. There was pizza and bingo, and students from both political parties were on hand to listen to the president's speech, then analyze and discuss his message. The students said the personal stories highlighted by the president were the aspects of the speech that stood out to them the most.

"There's a lot of personal stories," said Allyson Miller, an undergraduate student. "He brought a lot of guests. I guess I wasn't really expecting to see so many guests for each topic that he was touching on, so I'd say that kind of surprised me."

"For class tomorrow, I wrote down the four pillars that he talked about in his immigration policy," said Catherine Anderson, another undergraduate student. "I thought those were interesting and I think it's definitely going to be something that we hear a lot more about in the coming months. We also were all really kind of taken aback about the story about the homeless pregnant woman where the police officer adopted the child. That was really pretty heartwarming and a neat story and one that really brings the seriousness of the opioid crisis and brings it to a real world perspective."

According to the New York Times, Ronald Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik, who saved a woman from drowning after a plane crash, to the State of the Union in 1982. Since then, presidents have kept the tradition of inviting guests.