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Rock the Hofstra Debates

In the spirit of Rock the Debates, which seeks to “get the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates to commit to debate third party candidates”, we should also be pressuring the locations to open up the debates to “any presidential candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical chance” to win the electoral college. Since according to Newsday, Long Island’s own Hofstra University is on the list of debate locations. Let’s start there.

We can start by contacting Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz to express our preference for full democracy. His telephone number is (516) 463-6800 or email him at president@hofstra.edu or snail mail him at Office of the President,144 Hofstra University,Hempstead, NY 11549-1440.
Here is my email:

Dear President Rabinowitz:

As a Hofstra Alumnus, I was very proud to hear that my alma mater will host a Presidential Debate.  Hofstra has certainly earned this through its tradition of bringing Presidential scholarship to the public.  When I was a student there, I appreciated the opportunity the presidential conferences provided to hear different viewpoints on historical events.

I encourage Hofstra to carry forward this tradition in hosting a Presidential debate.  The Hofstra community (and the nation) would benefit from a Presidential debate that does not limit the viewpoints heard from the candidates.  Toward that end, I suggest Hofstra request that Commission of Presidential Debates follow the guidelines of organizations like Rock the Debates which lobby for the inclusion of all candidates who are on enough state ballots to win the electoral college.

Thank you.

Ian Wilder
BBA ’87

Hofstra’s Press Release

Hofstra University to Host Third and Final Presidential Debate in 2008

Today the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it had chosen Hofstra University for the site of its final 2008 Presidential Debate, to be held on October 15, 2008. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, has sponsored and produced every presidential and vice-presidential debate since 1988.

“We are extremely pleased and proud that the Commission has chosen Hofstra University for one of America’s most important political events,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “The presidential debates are pivotal events that can shape the course of the election, and our students and community will be able to witness, first-hand, the democratic process.”

President Rabinowitz will soon announce plans for a series of academic programs to be held in the months leading up to the debate that will provide students and the community with insights into the process and workings of the national election. “With Hofstra’s unique academic strengths, particularly with our Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and our vibrant academic programs in political science, journalism and mass media, and law, we are uniquely poised to take advantage of the special opportunities a presidential debate offers. We plan to maximize every opportunity to involve students, faculty and the community in this historic event.”

The Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies and Hofstra’s presidential conferences make the University one of the very few institutions in the country with a unique focus on the presidency. Beginning in 1982 with a conference on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hofstra has presented a conference on each president thereafter, culminating in the 11th presidential conference, “William Jefferson Clinton: The ‘New Democrat’ from Hope,” held on November 10 – 12, 2005.

During the application process, Hofstra University received overwhelming support for the debate from county, federal, state, and local elected officials as well as area businesses and utilities. All officials have pledged their municipal and governmental support to ensure that the debate will be a success.

“Hosting the debate will be a unique opportunity to showcase Hofstra University and Long Island, our nation’s first suburb, to a national and international audience,” said President Rabinowitz. “Long Island and Hofstra University will be introduced anew to our nation’s political and government leaders, journalists and the billions of people around the world who follow the United States presidential elections.”

Hofstra University will use the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex as the venue for the debate, and the adjoining Physical Fitness Center as home for the media center, which will host hundreds of journalists from around the world and all major networks, as well as supporting services for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Other Hofstra University facilities have been selected for support services for media and visitors.

Hofstra University, located in Hempstead, New York, approximately 25 miles east of Manhattan, is a dynamic private institution where approximately 12,500 students choose from more than 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, and a School of Law. Hofstra University, which was founded in 1935, has more than 110,000 alumni. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence; cutting edge technology; extensive library resources; internships and special educational programs that appeal to students’ interests and abilities. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future. In addition to the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, Hofstra University is home to the National Center for Suburban Studies and the Center for Civic Engagement.

Related Link: Presidential Debate Visit Video

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