All eyes will be on Hofstra University this Monday, September 26th when it holds the first 2016 Presidential Debate. Hofstra University now has the honor of holding the title as the only university to hold three consecutive presidential debates. This is definitely very impressive accomplishment and I’m very proud of the university. Countless people have worked tirelessly around the clock and spent so much money in preparation of Monday. It’s because of the great efforts and devotion of so many that Hofstra is able to have faith and trust placed in it to hold this third consecutive debate.
So, what has been my experience on campus in these final days leading up to the debate? For one thing, there have been many well-known and acclaimed guest speakers who have come to give speeches on various aspects of politics and the debate. I was fortunate enough to have the privilege to sit in and listen to a great speech given by the renowned political commentator Sally Kohn this past Wednesday. After her talk, she opened it up to discussion with a Q&A. One of my friends asked Kohn a question and shortly after, a journalist from Norway approached my friend, said she really liked their question, and asked if she could interview them for Norwegian television. So my friend got hooked up to a mic and sat in the grass with some of my other friends and the journalist for the interview as I went with a few of my other friends to take a group picture with Sally Kohn. Occurrences such as these are so surreal, but on this campus within these days leading up to the debate, they are most certainly not uncommon. As the debate grows closer and closer, the campus is coated in more and more journalists from a plethora of backgrounds, organizations, news outlets, etc. Multiple news organizations, such as CNN, FOX, and many, many others are already setting up trailers and tents on campus in preparation of broadcasting this event on Monday. Everywhere I go, I see people walking around with laminated debate access passes allowing them to be here on campus. Also, there are signs and posters. Everywhere. Walking around campus, it’s hard to miss a 2016 presidential debate advertisement. The debate, and all the festivities centered around it, have taken over campus.
It’s most certainly very surreal and incredible to be a student here at this time. The debate is granting many students opportunities to be debate volunteers, in which they can help out, get involved, and gain incredible experiences and opportunities to form connections. Many students are also going to have the opportunity to be on television and voice their opinions on the most controversial presidential debate in U.S. history. I feel so excited to be on campus to watch this history being made, and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out.