First Presidential Debate: Interview with Hofstra Student Josh Blank

By Becca Blank

What’s the atmosphere on campus right now?

I mean… it’s very political, there are people all over the place, there are news crews all over campus, there’s people everywhere, it’s kind of crazy. But it’s really cool, you know, really positive, we’re all really excited to see the debate.

Are the students overall showing a preference for one candidate or the other?

I mean, I think generally because it’s a more liberal school… yeah, there are more people, not necessarily for Clinton, but very anti-Trump. The people who are Trump supporters… they’re not booed, but disregarded. But, yeah, you can see that people who are around the TV stations set up are playing NBC more than Fox News.

Do you think the atmosphere would be different if Trump was the favored candidate?

I don’t know. With my bias, I think it would be a much more hateful atmosphere, but I don’t know, there are some Trump supporters [on campus], and it’s all fine, so realistically I could assume it’d be fine if Trump was the preferred candidate.

Has there been any tension on campus because of the debate?

Not that I’ve seen, but I heard there were some protestors around, for both candidates. I mean, I haven’t seen any, but that’s what I’ve heard.

What are your personal feelings about being so close to the debate?

It’s really cool, I feel like I’m a part of a very historical election, and there are all these big news crews covering this big event, and I’m here. Trump and Hillary, it’s a big thing, and it’s really cool.

Can you describe the process of how students were chosen to get tickets to the debate?

Because there are so many students here, only a select number of people got to see the debate, so they put all 7500 students in the lottery and maybe 300 were pulled. I wasn’t, so I’m just going to a watch party.

Why do you think Hofstra was chosen to host the debate?

I mean, we’re a university on the rise, so it’s been a thing for a while. Since 2008 we’ve been hosting debates, and I guess we’re good enough that they keep going back.

Do you think the outcome of the debate will affect the dynamic of the Hofstra community?

No, I think the Hofstra community is a very strong community, so it’ll all be good, the newscasters will leave and we’ll just resume what we do every day. I was gone this weekend, and before I left everything was fine, so I’m sure it’ll go right back to that afterwards.

Image: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2016/09/27/us/moments-from-the-first-presidential-debate/s/27DEBATEss-slide-SMMU.html