As the joint Obama-McCain forum rolls closer, more and more details are beginning to emerge. Last night, Bwog told you about the councils’ and groups’ plan for Thursday. Now, more details are emerging about the event itself.
The first issue is seating. Many of you are no doubt wondering when those emails granting you entrance will show up. It turns out that they will not arrive in your inboxes until tomorrow morning. The lottery was conducted early Monday afternoon, but Secret Service checks and other delays will keep the final list from being sent out until Tuesday.
Sadly, chances of getting a ticket are not exactly high. Sources told Bwog that over 15,000 people registered for the lottery. 300 people were selected, but only the first 100 names on that list are guaranteed entrance. The other 200 names will be put on a waitlist, with no more than half of them getting in. The final student count depends on how many seats there are, but suffice it to say that, even if you managed to brave the internet traffic jam to enter the lottery, your chances of actually sitting inside are only about 1%.
More details about event, including who else will be sitting in Roone, and what to do if you’re not able to get in, after the jump.
For those of you who must resort to alternative viewing, there will be several options. First, there will definitely be a Jumbotron, but, unlike last year’s event when it faced one of the lawns, this year it will face Low Steps. The organizers believe this will allow more students to watch, as well as increase visibility and attendance at the council/group-led “service fair” preceding the forum on Low Plaza.
If you would rather stay in your room or lounge, the forum will be broadcast on PBS, NY1, C-SPAN, and probably the cable news outlets. There won’t be an official webcast through Columbia (as this weekend showed, Columbia doesn’t exactly have the servers for such a huge amount of traffic), but CNN et al. typically webcast feeds of every McCain and Obama event on their websites.
If you do manage to make it inside, you will be joining 150-200 Columbia students, members of the ServiceNation summit, staff from both campaigns, and, finally, family members of 9/11 victims. As of right now, there are no plans for the candidates to be on the stage at the same, and it is not known how or when they will enter or exit the building (though Obama is scheduled to have dinner with former president and new Columbia parent Bill Clinton before the event).
Finally, NYPD is already working on security: Bwog spotted NYPD officers this morning at 116th and Broadway, and tipsters report the NYPD is already traveling the subway as far up as the Medical School.