Monday, September 26th was a landmark day for Hofstra University. 84 million viewers across the United States tuned in to see the two presidential candidates stand-off for the first time this election season, and as many Hofstra students know, this happened right inside the Mack Arena on their campus. This marked history for the university, which is the only site to host three consecutive presidential debates. The Center for Civic Engagement interviewed Danielle Ribaudo, a junior Hofstra student, to learn more about the atmosphere the day of the debate.
How did you spend your debate day, Danielle?
D: I got out on campus early and stayed out all day. There was so much to do! Between Issue Alley, all of the news crews and media stages, and viewing parties, there was so much going on on campus.
It looks like you worked very hard on your sign! Did you make it on any of the TV networks?
D: Yes! Early in the day I made it into the background of an MSNBC broadcast.
How do you think students handled the politically charged atmosphere? Was there a lot of tension?
D: Actually, I think that one of the great things about debate day was that no one got angry at each other for their political views. Hofstra came together as a community to really enjoy the day and the excitement of the atmosphere, and everyone understood that we may have different political views, but we’re all a part of the same family.
Did you see any protesting on or around campus?
D: Yes, I did see some protesting, but everything that I saw was peaceful and it was great that the community in and around Hofstra was getting involved in current issues.
What was the highlight of your day?
D: I got to see Anderson Cooper in person! He’s one of my idols.
Will you be voting in November?
D: Of course! Everyone should vote in November because that’s the real opportunity to make your voice heard.