Indiana U. Among Candidates For Presidential Debate Site

This story was written by Kyle Doehla, Indiana Daily Student
Indiana University is still among the top candidates for hosting a 2008 presidential debate and should find out within the next few weeks whether it will be chosen, IU Student Association representatives said this week.

The Commission on Presidential Debates came to IU last March for a site inspection and approved it as a potential site to host the coming debate.

Jeff Fraser, policy adviser and 2008 debate director for the IUSA, said that this would be one of the biggest events to ever happen at IU if it takes place.

"There would be 100 million television viewers watching from around the world and over 2,000 journalists coming to town," Fraser said. "Every national talk show would be broadcasting all over campus."

The debate, which would take place at the IU Auditorium, would draw up a lottery system on which students would be able to attend.

"The press would take up the majority of the lower auditorium so seats would be limited," Fraser said. "As for our chances to host the debate, we are in a great position and we have submitted a bid that can be characterized as very competitive."

Joe Dejean, IUSA vice president, said that out of the 15 schools that have applied to host the debate, IU is definitely a top candidate.

"IU's chances are pretty good," Dejean said. "It would be a great win because it started as a student idea within IUSA and we have collaborated with many administrators and students to bring this great coming to the University."

Michael Spitzer, a junior political science major, thinks that having the 2008 presidential debate at IU would be great for the campus as a whole.

"It would allow for the students of Indiana University to begin thinking more politically," Spitzer said. "It would definitely push them to take more of an active role on what's going on in our country."

Fraser, who said he came up with the idea for the debate being hosted at IU, put the bid together with last year's IUSA vice president, Andrew Lauck.

"The only occasion I know of with more national prominence is the Olympics," Fraser said. "And I don't see IU hosting that anytime soon."

© 2007 Indiana Daily Student via U-WIRE