Catching a glimpse of Republican presidential candidates, or maybe even the next president of the United States, will be possible this weekend.
Drake will host all of the potential 2012 Republucan presidential candidates for a debate in Sheslow Auditorium this Saturday, and a few lucky students have received tickets to attend the event.
However, despite Drake’s push to increase publicity for the event, do students actually care about the debate on campus? Or have looming final tests and projects eclipsed the event’s importance?
While some students jumped on the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working with ABC, many others are still in the dark about what is really going on this Saturday.
“I know that the debate is sometime this weekend, but I honestly don’t even know where it’s being held,” said first-year actuarial science major Jessica Narr. “I just never sought out anything about the debate, so I’ve only really heard about it through my Drake email.”
Narr isn’t alone when it comes to not knowing much about the debates. Though most students are conscious of the event being hosted at Drake, only a few are aware of any additional information.
“I know that the caucus is being held in Iowa, and that a debate is going to be on campus, but that’s about it,” said junior biology major Laura Jones. “Because I’m a science major, politics and current events are rarely brought up in class, and I haven’t seen any posters or flyers hanging around campus for the event.”
Peter Ryan, a second-year pharmacy student, also said he thinks that Drake could be doing more to increase the event’s publicity.
“I think Drake has done a good job promoting the event electronically — the home page of the Drake website is dedicated to it — and students have received emails from the university,” Ryan said. “However, I still think it would be a good idea to put up paper posters.”
Other students, however, could not be more excited about being so in touch with such a huge current event. Taylor Rookaird, a first-year public relations major, has the opportunity to work with a national corporation before she has even taken her first collegiate final exams.
“I got involved with the debate because it seemed like an awesome opportunity, especially for a first-year,” Rookaird said. “I remember being on a tour when I was checking out the school, and my tour guide was telling me about how Drake had hosted them before, and also that students were hired as interns. Since then, I knew that getting involved with the debates would be an awesome opportunity that wouldn’t come around very often.”
Even though some Drake students aren’t giving this weekend’s debate their undivided attention, that doesn’t mean they are completely unconnected from the event. A pancake breakfast with possible special guests is scheduled for Saturday, and public screenings of the debate will be held around campus, complete with free food.
“I think there is enough word for people who are interested to seek out events,” Jones said. “I really do think this an awesome event for our campus and really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people wanting to get involved.”