CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) - The campus of Washington University is transforming into the epicenter of presidential politics. Security checkpoints are already in place for Sunday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Some students are disappointed third party candidates will not be on the stage Sunday. That decision is made by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Candidates must achieve an average of at least 15% support in major polls. Trump and Clinton are the only candidates to meet that threshold.
Andrew Eichen is a student and president of a student group called Young Americas for Liberty. He believes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson should be included because Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
“It sends a message to a voter that it only really matters if you’re a republican or a democrat, and you can’t really be anything in between,” said Eichen.
Hosting the debate will cost the University approximately $5 million. University officials believe the investment is well worth it.
“It’s really cool to see the whole student body becoming more politically minded, actually paying attention to things that affect us in everyday life,” said Peter Rosston, Washington University student.
“Ignoring politics while it’s right here where you live, and under your nose it’s impossible to do,” said Washington University student Keona Kalu. She believes student engagement in this debate will continue to be part of their adult life for many years to go.
Washington University student Ezugo Onejeme also welcomes the presidential debate. He believes it has already brought out more debate on campus among different student groups.