The most highly anticipated event at WashU this fall is undoubtedly the presidential debate on Sunday, October 9. At this particular moment, it’s 55 days, 17 hours, 46 minutes, and 50 seconds away, but who’s counting?
This has been an uncommonly eventful election season. The primaries were a flurry of headlines that at first glance appeared to be articles from The Onion. After the dramatic and, at points, contentious primary season, Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton became Democratic nominee. Each party held their convention in July and WashU will play a big role in the next chapter of the general election.
The next major events that may affect the outcome of the election are the debates this fall. WashU has been lucky enough to host more Presidential and Vice Presidential debates than any other institution in the country. In 1992, we hosted the debate between Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and George H. W. Bush. Four years later, in 1996, we were chosen as a debate venue once again, but the campaigns decided to reduce the number of debates from three to two, so it was cancelled. In 2000 WashU hosted a Town-Hall (in lieu of a debate) with George W. Bush and Al Gore and in 2004 Bush was back again for a Town-Hall, this time with John Kerry. Most recently, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin debated here in 2008. WashU is honored to again be a host of the debate, where Clinton and Trump will be facing off.
Debates are always an exciting, campus-wide event. There is lots of programming throughout the weeks leading up to, and the day of, the debate. There are also large debate watch parties in and around campus. The only members of the WashU community who get to actually go to the debate are students. The last debate we were given 432 tickets for students. This year the number hasn’t been announced yet, but all students are able to join a raffle for those tickets.
This debate is definitely going to be one for the books and I, for one, am incredibly excited to be a student at WashU for this event.
For more information about the debate: