Washington University on track for hosting October Presidential Debate

CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) – If there is one thing Washington University knows how to do, it`s host a nationally televised debate. The Presidential Debate on October 9 will be their fifth.

"Everyone is really excited,' said student Maddie Robinson.

You'd think with just 13 days to go, the gymnasium at the Washington University Athletic Complex would be in the midst of transformation, but it still just looks like a basketball court.

The work right now is concentrated in what will be the media center downstairs.

'Our saying is the main thing is the main thing, the debate itself,' said Wash U Debate Committee Chairman Steve Givens.

He says while the debates themselves have changed very little, the setup has changed a lot.

'I always tell students, technology at the first Wash U debate in 1992 was setting up a row of pay phones so that media could call in their stories,' he said.

Between 2,500 to 3,000 members of the media are expected to attend.

As for tickets, most go to VIPs chosen by the Commission in Presidential Debates, but about 100 will be given to students through a lottery.

Of the almost 14,000 on campus, 10,000 have registered.

'It really is about giving the students the opportunity to be right in the middle of something historic and important,' Givens said.