Activities in the Netherlands Core taught students how the debate works and prepared them to view the presidential debate through interaction with ABC news and creative outlets such as coloring and magnet making on Monday Sept. 26 as part of the event, Embrace the Debate: Create. “We want it to be a viewing party that brings everybody together for this historical moment,” Amanda Getz, a student volunteer said.
ABC Eyewitness News coverage with reporter Liz Cho and ABC news at 5 and 6, with reporters Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa broadcasted live from the Netherlands Core were students were able to look on.
“I’ve been up since 4 a.m., running all around, making sure I make the most out of this experience,” Jamie Johnson, a Hofstra student said. Johnson explained that it was a rush going between the Netherlands Core and Hofstra USA, the location of another viewing party. “At one end, there would be news stations and at the other there would be protests. It’s been crazy.”
Tables were lined up in front of the Netherlands Core not only for students to register to vote, but for students to express which candidate they support for the presidency and why by writing it on a paper slip. These slips were then put onto a board at the front of the Netherlands Core in the shape of an American flag.
“We hope that when students pass this board, they get encouraged to register to vote. It’s important for them to have their voices heard,” Kyle Miller, a student volunteer said.
Miller ran the voting table starting at 9 a.m., influencing many students to register to vote and to apply for absentee ballots.
The ABC broadcast for the debate began at 8 p.m. Ritter and Baderinwa took the stage again and each broadcaster took turns asking questions students questions that ranged from, “Do you know who you’re voting for?” all the way to, “What do you hope she [Clinton] will say tonight during the debate?”
Moments before the presidential debate began –tension and enthusiasm filled the room. A countdown began 20 seconds before the debate prompting one student to describe the anticipation, exclaiming, “It feels like New Years in here!”
As the debate aired, students were silent, holding onto every last word and perking their ears to the history in the making that took place not a mile from where they sat.