Obama and McCain Coming to Lerner on 9/11!
Written by Bwog Staff
Spec is reporting that the candidates will speak on behalf of ServiceNation, an organization that aims to increase public service participation.
We’re trying to figure out whether the event is open to students, and will be updating as we do.
According to the NonProfit Times, 500 seats have already been filled: “500 supporters are expected at the event in New York City. On September 12, leaders representing many sectors of American life will convene to ratify a Declaration of Service and to draw national attention to the platform of ServiceNation.” Roone’s seating capacity is 1,500.
UPDATE 8:17 PM: Infuriatingly vague news about ticketing in PrezBo’s mass email: “Given our limited space, we will ensure that all seating available goes to students in our University community. Students will receive a follow-up email tomorrow with details regarding how to register for the ticket lottery.” (full e-mail after the jump).
UPDATE 9:45 PM: The major political campus groups seem to have been completely blindsided by the announcement as well–the College Democrats were just beginning their freshman open house when they got the news, and the packed Broadway room gasped in unison when President Chris Daniels dropped the bomb at the end of his speech. The Dems may ask for a Jumbotron screen on one of the lawns, a la Ahmadinejad last year. Outside the Broadway room, Bwog hailed a rushing CCSC President George Krebs, who said he just heard about it and would be meeting with administration to discuss particulars tomorrow.
Columbia Political Union head Nick Shea said he also found out like everyone else, and that the group will likely plan “one or more events around the same time as the McCain/Obama event.” The College Republicans’ Executive Director Lauren Salz
have not yet responded to inquiries says that the CUGOP “did not hear about Obama and McCain coming until the Spectator asked me for a comment. I think it’s amazing that both candidates are going to share the stage at Columbia. We don’t have any events planned right now, but if we do plan events, they are not going to be partisan in nature. It’s September 11th, and the theme of the event is public service and non partisanship, so we will not be holding any sort of rally in support of McCain.”
Dear fellow member of the Columbia community,
I am delighted to welcome you back for the new academic year with some exciting news. Columbia University has been selected to host “ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum” next Thursday evening as a partner in the ServiceNation Summit that will take place in New York on September 11-12.
On September 11, a day of remembrance that ServiceNation organizers intend for nonpartisan reflection on our obligations as citizens, we look forward to welcoming both Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama back to our campus for a nationally broadcast conversation in Alfred Lerner Hall about the future of national service moderated by TIME Magazine editor Richard Stengel and PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff. Governor David Paterson is scheduled to provide a welcome to the event.
It is entirely fitting for us to become part of this two-day conclave that will bring together so many admired leaders in our country to consider ways to expand the scope and scale of successful service programs throughout the nation. Public service and active involvement in the issues facing our society have always been an essential part of Columbia’s identity and academic mission. As a leading research university in our nation’s greatest urban center, ours is a campus of robust engagement in the life of our neighborhood and City, our nation and our world.
Each year, thousands of Columbia students across all our schools, colleges and affiliates participate in hundreds of service learning, volunteer action and social entrepreneurship programs here in New York and across the globe. We look forward to having this very public event spark an ongoing conversation within our own University community about strategies to further enhance the role of service and citizenship in Columbia’s academic mission.
Given our limited space, we will ensure that all seating available goes to students in our University community. Students will receive a follow-up email tomorrow with details regarding how to register for the ticket lottery.
While it will not be a presidential debate, but rather two individual conversations, this nonpartisan Forum is one of only a few times that John McCain and Barack Obama are scheduled to appear on the same stage during the general election campaign. We are delighted to be part of an event on a theme so important to all citizens and to Columbians.
Lee C. Bollinger