RELEASE from Indiana University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2011
University applies to host 2012 presidential debate
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A student-led initiative has resulted in
Indiana University submitting an application to host an official
or vice presidential debate in the fall of 2012.
IU is one of 12 colleges and universities to apply to serve
as a site for one of the debates. The Commission on Presidential
Debates will select
sites for three debates between candidates for president and one debate
candidates for vice president.
Leading the IU effort is the Presidential Debate Student
Coalition, organized by officials with the IU Student Association and
the Indiana Memorial Union Board, the Political and Civic Engagement
and the Residence Halls Association. The university administration is
supporting the initiative.
Students Riley Voss and Barrett Tenbarge, coordinators of
the group, said hosting a debate will provide unique opportunities for
students to learn about and engage with the political process.
“I encourage every IU student to see this as a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in American politics in
sincere, bipartisan form,” said Voss, director of debates and issues
Board. “One reason these debates are held on campuses across the
country is to
benefit the youth voter. If IU is selected, the ball will be in our
in the state of Indiana, that’s exactly where we like it.”
The debate itself would take place at the 3,200-seat IU
Auditorium. Other campus facilities, including Assembly Hall,
Recreation Center and the Radio-TV Center, would be available as
centers for news media and other debate operations.
Doug Booher, director of the IU Auditorium, said hosting a
debate would provide multiple benefits for Indiana University, its
the Bloomington community and Indiana.
“First is the incredible learning opportunity that our
students, faculty, staff and community members will have,” he said. “It
a springboard for all type of learning and discussion, and that’s
plan to take full advantage of, if IU is selected.
“And second, it’s a fantastic economic development
opportunity for our community and the region. The debate is the
the American political scene for days. It obviously brings a lot of
and it also puts a focus on the university and what it’s able to
Booher said the university will seek corporate and
philanthropic partners to help cover the cost of hosting a debate and
state and community support. The City of Bloomington and other civic
will be involved with preparing for and hosting the debate.
IU submitted an application to host a 2008 presidential or
vice presidential debate and was believed to be close to being
Students who were involved with that proposal passed along their
enthusiasm in hopes that the campus would win a debate the next time
“Our goal is to include every student in one way or another
through our various initiatives and the debate coalition itself,” Voss
week leading up to the debate will be one of the most unbelievable
IU’s history. It’s an opportunity that no student, faculty member or
administrator will ever forget.”
The deadline for submitting debate applications was April 1.
Officials with the Commission on Presidential Debates will visit
debate sites this summer to evaluate their facilities and their
hosting a debate. Four debate sites and two backup sites will be
The Commission on Presidential Debates was established in
1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general
provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its
purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States
and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and
activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a
nonpartisan corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in
1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.