By Katie Webb Editorial Editor
The results are in: Out of 6,500 applicants, some lucky students have won the golden ticket to see President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney partake in the second presidential debate at the Mack Sports Complex. Students were alerted Sunday night via their Hofstra email.
“The way I feel right now is complete shock,” said senior Blane Marks, a community health major. “I can’t wait for Tuesday.”
Others have been echoing a similar sentiment of how surreal and meaningful this moment is in their lives. Not only do students going to the debate have the University to thank, but past generations.
“Seeing that I am a minority who would not have been even permitted in a voting booth 60 years ago, I owe it to my ancestors to be as involved as I absolutely can be,” said Raina Hodge, physical education and radio broadcasting major. “My Grandmother just passed… and my heart breaks that I can’t call her and tell her about this amazing opportunity.”
The world recognizes journalists as the watchdogs of the government. However, in the coming weeks before Election Day the job is extended to the public as voters to cast a vigilant eye on politicians.
“The untrained ear can easily get lost in the trash talk, slander and propaganda the candidates slew back and forth instead of paying attention to the real issues and making up their own mind,” said Hodge.
Clearly, being seated in the debate hall to hear the candidates speak will be an unparalleled experience for her, but no matter where the debate is heard from, Hodge reminds students to listen beyond the babble.
One student who is adhering to this advice knows the importance of asking the candidates the hard questions.
“I’m already going in with a strong mindset on who I’m voting for, however, I hope to see a good, fair debate and hope they are both thrown some curveballs,” said senior Michael Daniele, economics major. “I would really like them to talk about the fiscal cliff… and what their plans are in regards to handling that.”
Many students have specific political interests they want to hear addressed. Yet, the debate coming to campus has even managed to excite students who are not politically active.
“I’ve never been too interested in politics before college, and I still get frustrated to the point where I just want to stop learning about it,” said Molly Tette, business management major. “However, I believe that it’s really important to be informed about who you want to run the country, and that’s exactly what I plan to find out.”
There are of course hundreds of students who will not get to attend the debate, and for them the event is going to be bittersweet.
“I think no matter what kind of lottery, raffle or competition I enter, I always feel like I have that winning ticket,” said Alex LoPinto, psychology major. “I'm just hoping that every individual who does get to go realizes what an amazing win that is. You get to witness history, up close and personal. All those stories your grandparents tell you, yeah this is one like that. Save it for the books, and enjoy it, because I sure would.”