News

Candidates faced off in first Presidential Debate

The most anticipated, high-profile event in University of Miami history had finally arrived. After a year of planning, preparation and excitement-coupled with stress, inconvenience and uncertainty-the first 2004 Presidential Debate took place in the Convocation Center on Sept. 30.

UM President Donna E. Shalala released a statement to all students.

“This is an extraordinary moment. More than 40 million people worldwide will be watching,” Dr. Shalala said. “Take part, savor it, tune in, be proud. And brush off the inconvenience. It’s a small price to pay to be a part of history in the making.”

The Debate was the culminating event in a series of events that came to campus, including visits from such notable figures as political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Aside from those who got to attend the debate, enthusiastic students filled the Rock, the UC Patio and the Rat Plaza to watch the debate on giant screens, enjoying the free food and entertainment. Grammy Award nominee Vanessa Carlton and Grammy Award winner Jill Scott performed live. The party was hosted by WWE stars Mick Foley, Mark Henry and Chris Nowinski.

“I liked the Debate Watch Party held here at the Rat,” Laura Forbes, senior, said. “I thought it was good how they included so many students even though we weren’t able to go to the debate. It’s made me really proud to go to school here.”

More than 2,500 media personnel were on campus to cover the debate. The Wellness Center was their center of operation, dubbed “Spin Alley.” During the debate activities, many students even got the opportunity to work with the likes of Fox News Channel, Newsweek and MSNBC.

Hardball with Chris Matthews was filmed live from the Rock, while Crossfire and CNN Live filmed live from the UC Patio through most of the day.

“I think that the experience, in general, brought what democracy is to us,” Daniel Pedreira, senior, said. “You have the Declaration of Independence in the UC, different media outlets talking about politics, the candidates debating, so it just brings all these things together and it lets us see just a part of what is important in the country right now.”

The Debate brought in a political environment that encouraged students to solidify their political views and get involved. Students definitely appreciated the significance of the debate at UM.

“Donna Shalala said we’d have a lot of bragging rights when we go home for Christmas break, and I think that that’s really true,” Forbes said.

“[This debate] shows that democracy is not dying,” Albin Xavier, sophomore, said. “Democracy is the solution to government, and it shows that there is no apathy for the 18-year-old. We are the future -this is it.”

For more information on the Debate, visit www.miami.edu/debate04.

Christine Dominguez contributed to this article.

Megha Garg can be contacted at

m.garg2@umiami.edu.

August 1, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

As the Miami Hurricanes started their third series against the FIU Panthers on Saturday afternoon, t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is headed to the championship of one th ...

The Miami women's tennis team posted a 5-2 mark in official matches on the second day of the Mi ...

Freshman Riley Howard continued her incredible start as a Canes cross country runner setting another ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to host Virginia Tech Sunday at noon at Cobb Stadium. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.