Diving deeper into conspiracy: Watergate 50 year later

The Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences presented a lecture called “Watergate: 50 Years Later” at the Edwards Recital Hall on Oct. 12.

Coastal Carolina University’s Board of Trustees member and senior fellow of the Palmetto Promise Institute Oran Smith hosted the event. Smith has a bachelor’s and doctorate in political science from Clemson University and the University of South Carolina (USC). He also received his master’s in public administration from USC.

Smith dedicates his service to South Carolina through public policy and politics. He said he is passionate about the Watergate scandal that took place in the early 70’s, during Richard Nixon’s presidency.

Students gathered in the recital hall to learn about the major political scandal that involved Nixon. This incident is a significant mark in politics and history, as it involved many leaders and representatives covering up Nixon’s involvement in breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. This is essentially what led to Nixon’s resignation before his unavoidable impeachment.

Smith said the Watergate scandal “teaches us a lot about human frailty, incompetence and people thinking for some reason they’re doing the right thing, but they are not, and they get lost.”

“It truly was a dark period in our history but was one that we can learn from,” Smith said.

Isabella Wilson, a communication major and double minor in pre-law and political science at CCU, said she attended the event to learn more about Watergate and expressed her interest in working in politics. She said what interested her the most was how far Nixon was willing to go to cover up the scandal and how many people were involved.

Political science student Ashley Wulforst aid she previously learned about Watergate in high school and was interested to hear more of what Smith had to offer.

“He was passionate at times, and I think that shows you the government is not all black and white,” Wulforst said.

The opportunity to learn more about political incidents allows students to gain an understanding of historical points in U.S. politics.