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Debate ticket winners goes up to 250-300; students talk about issues they want to hear tonight

By Katie Webb Editorial Editor

University Relations has confirmed that 250-300 students have won tickets to the debate, as Hofstra’s campus continues to buzz with excitement in anticipation for the second presidential debate. The winners range in majors from journalism to mechanical engineering, but all show enthusiasm long before they enter the debate hall.

“The gravity of it all definitely is somewhat unnerving, plus I have to dress up,” said Matt Turner, biology major who won a ticket. “I’m getting ready by eating a lot [with] 5 hours of security clearance, preparing to spend the day in a stinking suit, and by doing some last minute research to try to be as prepared as possible so that I can keep up to date on each issue and the intricacies of every prospective problem that could be addressed by each candidate.”

Though students with tickets to the debate will not be a part of the group to ask questions to President Obama and Gov. Romney, they still have political inquiries on their minds they want addressed.

“What we have to look forward to right now is to graduate and start paying loans, and most of us start our professional lives in debt. In this economy it’s hard to bounce back. I want to hear more about these issues regarding the future of this country,” said Haven Alba, a junior television and film major.

Along the economy, Lauren Platt, a journalism major, wants the candidates to address social issues. “I feel so fortunate,” she said. “I want to hear about issues that relate to me: women’s rights and the economy especially. I’m graduating in a few years and I want to know if I will have a job or if it will be a huge struggle for me.”

Though issues at home are vital to address, some students are concerned with foreign affairs.

“I would ask President Obama exactly what happened in Libya,” James DiGirolamo, a music major said. “Why did the White House only recently acknowledge that the attack on the embassy was a terrorist operation even though the Libyan government believed that it was almost immediately? Why was the embassy denied requests for security and why wouldn't they always have a military detachment in such a conflict ridden part of the world?” Marissa Castoro, a mechanical engineering major, expects the candidates to talk about bipartisanship.

“I’m eager to hear some of the questions that’ll be asked and one thing I’d like to hear Obama and Romney talk about is how they plan to have the parties work together,” she said. “It’s clear that when the Republicans oppose everything Obama does or if the Democrats will oppose everything Romney does no one wins. So what do they plan to do to work with the other party and not just push their party’s ideas?”

With all of these topics burning to be discussed, the lucky ticket winners cannot wait to get into the hall. “The suspense of not knowing any details except that I have to be at Hof USA at 3 p.m. to check in for the 9 p.m. debate is absolutely killer,” said Michael Daniell, an economics major.

For Parth Mehta, a mathematical business economics and accounting major, the opportunity to attend the debate has extended Hofstra’s exposure to his friends. “I will boast about [the debate] to my friends for Philadelphia who look down on Hofstra,” he said. Mehta explained his friends had never heard of Hofstra, but after having hosted two presidential debates perhaps people will start holding the name in a higher esteem.

But for all the students, the opportunity to represent the University in the debate hall brings them a sense of unity and pride. “With only hours left until the debate…It makes me proud to be a Hofstra University student,” said Alyssa Cziterik, video and television major of attending the debate. “I think it’s safe to say all the students and faculty on campus are proud to be a part of this great academic institution today.”

Inside the debate hall at Hofstra University.

SGA and U.S. president meet; students stand-in for candidates

Commuter students make their way to campus with ease on Debate Day