Drexel Univ. To Host Presidential Debate

This story was written by LeAnne Matlach, Temple News
The Democrats are coming! The Democrats are coming!

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the presidential candidates for the Democratic Party will hold a debate at Drexel University.

Dr. Michael Hagen, a Temple University associate professor in the political science department, said the debate will bring the presidential campaign into people's living rooms and give focus to people who might not have been paying so much attention to the campaign.

"Pennsylvania, once again, will be one of the most important states in the general election because the race will be very competitive. Anything either side can do at this point to appeal to voters is something they want to do," Hagen said.

In a press release from Drexel, University President Constantine Papadakis said he was pleased and honored that Drexel was chosen to host the debate.

"This event is the perfect expression of Drexel's mission of education, public service and civic engagement," Papadakis said in the release.

Before the debate venue was announced, it was rumored that Temple's Liacouras Center was at the top of the list. Ray Betzner, director of communications for Temple, said he has no idea why Temple wasn't chosen.

"I think all of the major universities made themselves available to the Democrats," Betzner said.

Betzner added that a college campus is the perfect place for a debate. He said it is the safest place in the world to have debates over issues people are passionate about.

Even though the debate isn't being held at Temple, Hagen said a lot of students, especially Democrats, will be paying attention to the debate. "The fact that it is being held on a college campus makes it a little more attractive to Temple students to see what the candidates have to say," Hagen said.

Kevin Arceneaux, an assistant professor in the political science department, said he is pleased with the level of student involvement in politics.

"Compared to the political cultures I've seen at other universities, I'd say that the political culture here is alive and healthy," Arceneaux said. "I'm impressed with the students who I see involved in political organizations of campus. These students are committed to changing the world for the better and their enthusiasm is infectious."

Hagen said he is also impressed by students' involvement, especially when it comes to presidential elections.

"In 2004, this was a hotbed of activity. The presidential race really caught people's attention and got people energized at Temple and in Philadelphia," Hagen said.

The debate will be broadcast live on MSNBC from 9 to 11 p.m. next Tuesday.

"I hope students will take time out of their schedules to tune into the debate," Betzner said.

"This story appears courtesy of UWIRE, a news service powered by student journalists at more than 800 universities. To learn more, visit UWIRE.com."
© 2007 Temple News via U-WIRE
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