Get to know some of the students volunteering for the 2008 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University.
Laura Newman, a senior, Public Relations major is volunteering with University Relations during the third presidential debate. Her experience thus far can be described in one word; “Crazy,” Newman said.
She has been working at the Media Check-in table in the Debate Hall, where there’s a lot of rules and regulations as to where and what the media can take photos of. There is a lot going on all at once with Media personel filing in and out of the arena. She has also served as an escort to media who wish to photograph the more secure areas of the debate hall.
For Newman, she is most excited to be on the inside and see how things in the media are put together for such a big, once-in-a-lifetime event. From a Public Relations perspective, Newman said,” I think this will be a good experience to see how things work in a stressful situation.”
“I think it would be exciting to see the whole campus get involved,” said Erin Fuhrman, a Debate ’08 student volunteer.
Fuhrman, a junior print journalism major from Pennsylvania, is volunteering in University Relations during the Presidential Debate. Her first assignment is at the credential pick-up area, located in Plaza Room East of the Student Center.
On the day of the debate, she will be helping out in Monroe Lecture Hall, one of the viewing stations of the debate on campus.
“There is so much hype around campus,” Fuhrman said, “When it comes to crunch time I want to see how many students come out of their dorms.”
Volunteering with University Relations is not Fuhrman’s only role during the debate, as sge is also working with The Chronicle and Nassau News.org as a journalist and photographer. Besides running around campus you might also catch her in the pep band on Fox’s morning show on Wednesday.
Tammy Kim, a junior in broadcast journalism, will be volunteering with CNN news station two days prior to the third presidential debate on October 15th, and as an assistant to the Associated Press the night of the debate.
Her responsibilities include, respectively, assisting in CNN broadcast production, and collecting news, interviewing students and running errands for the Associated Press.
"I'm so excited," she said. "Volunteering with CNN is great, but volunteering with the Associated Press is just 'wow,' because of its importance. I can't believe it."
Kim said she received the offer for volunteership with the Associated Press through contact with Hofstra University Relations. She says she is very active, and that it helps her get opportunities.
"I'm really involved on campus, and people tell me, 'You can put all this on your resume!' and I say, 'It's just what I do!' I'm involved because I love doing it."
Salju Thomas, a sophomore in public relations, will be volunteering within the Commission on Presidential Debates press office. His responsibilities include providing administrative support to the office directors and facilitating their endeavors. He will be volunteering three days prior to the debate and on the day of the debate itself on October 15th 2008.
"I've got all sorts of responsibilities, it's hard to sum them all up," he said. "They range from updating where the media is set up in the filing center, to filing table assignments, making maps, anything to make the directors' lives easier."
Thomas says he's been having a great experience. He feels that everyone on campus is affected by the Educate '08 program.
"You can feel the electricity in the air," he said. "Plus, the school's never looked better."
Daniel Stein, a junior in film and television production, will be volunteering on security for the third presidential debate at Hofstra University on October 15, 2008. His responsibilities include guarding the doors to the Physical Fitness Center for the two days prior to and the actual day of the debate.
"I'm the only one of my group of friends who's doing it," he said. "...it's cool because I'm meeting new people, and I'll probably get to meet some really important figures."
He's very excited he's participating in a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I can look back and say, 'I was at Spin Alley the night of the [third presidential] 2008 debate!'"
Joshua Richter, a 19-year-old freshman broadcast journalism major, will be volunteering on security for the third presidential debate at Hofstra University on October 15th 2008. His responsibilities include guarding the doors to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex and the Physical Fitness Center for the first two days leading up to the debate and the day of the debate itself.
"It's the debate!" he said. "It only happens every four years, and now it's happening here!"
He feels that being part of the Hofstra Debate '08 volunteer program is an unequivocal opportunity. The debate, he says, is what led him to enroll at Hofstra, and is getting him politically active. His enthusiasm exemplifies Hofstra's unique student involvement.
"I turned down a party to watch the second presidential debate at the Student Center Theatre," he said. "It was worth it, the crowd went wild when Hofstra was mentioned, and you really can't replicate that unless you're there to experience it."