With the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election just a little more than a month away, leaders from UNLV, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and the Nevada System of Higher Education rallied the university community to countdown the final days to the historic event.
On Wednesday, a throng of UNLV students, faculty and staff enjoyed festivities, some free burritos and debate swag, and a DJ, before hearing about the many ways they can be involved in the activities surrounding the debate. Students already have the chance to participate in nearly a dozen special courses tied to the debate and the coming election. UNLV professors and scholars from across the country are hosting election-themed lectures to help people understand themes surrounding the Oct. 19 candidate face-off on UNLV’s campus.
“Debates draw the world's attention, and hosting the third and final debate is a really rare chance to showcase UNLV to the nation and the world,” Chase said. “Think about it. The next president of the United States is going to be in the Thomas and Mack right behind us, on our campus and in our community.”
Ralenkotter said it is a great opportunity for the hundreds of students who will get to volunteer in different capacities from internships with media organizations, to hands on preparation for the actual event.
“The activities on campus are going to give you an opportunity to see close up what happens during a debate and how this all works,” he said.
Referring to the final presidential debate as the political equivalent to the seventh game of the World Series, Ralenkotter said he expected TV viewership may break previous presidential records and be watched in close to 80 million homes.
“What a great opportunity to showcase UNLV and to showcase the business side of Las Vegas. This is kind of a crowning jewel for us to host this debate,” Ralenkotter said.
UNLV Vice President for Student Affairs Juanita Fain added, “All eyes are going to be on Las Vegas and UNLV and we couldn’t be more excited.”
UNLV Cheer and The Rebel Girls kicked off the event, which was held in the Alumni Amphitheatre in front of the Student Union.