Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Meet Me in Tennessee

The city of Nashville and Belmont University gear up to host the second presidential debate of the season

By Aaron Broder | null null , null
Belmont University gets into the spirit of Election 2008 by hanging a banner on their campus Bell Tower in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Aaron Broder)
Belmont University gets into the spirit of Election 2008 by hanging a banner on their campus Bell Tower in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Aaron Broder)

On October 7, Belmont University will have the honor of hosting the second of three presidential debates. Thousands of people will pour into Nashville, Tennessee, from members of each campaign, to Secret Service, to an expected 3,000 members of the press, including Scholastic News.

But how did Belmont get picked to be a host? Pamela Johnson, Belmont's Director of Strategic Marketing and Special Initiatives and one of the people in charge of organizing Belmont's debate, recently talked to Scholastic News about how the university is planning for the second showdown of the presidential campaign.

The Belmont debate will be in a "town hall" format. In most debates, a moderator asks the candidates questions, and they respond. But in this town hall format, the questions will come from undecided voters in the audience. "It's a different kind of debate," Johnson said. "It's a little bit more informal, and more 'of the people.' It gives candidates a chance to see who the people of Middle Tennessee are and what their concerns are."

It isn't easy becoming the host for a debate, and there are lots of details to consider. For example, while the area where the audience sits has to be 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the stage can be no warmer than 65 degrees. The ceiling can be no lower than 35 feet high. And all of the floors in the venue must be fully carpeted. Everything from acoustics, to lighting, and even humidity is strictly defined in the guidelines from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Kid Reporter Aaron Broder and Pamela Johnson
Scholastic Kid Reporter Aaron Broder with Pamela Johnson, Belmont's Director of Strategic Marketing and Special Initiatives on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Aaron Broder)

Belmont has split the work of getting ready for the big event among committees. These groups, which include students, focus on things like technology, security, and hospitality.

Community participation is one of Belmont's big themes for the debate. The university has held many events to get students and the surrounding community involved, including a big voter registration drive. "Our theme for the debate," said Johnson, "is 'Democracy: the Art of Being Free'"

Find more information about the debate as well as the activities leading up to it at http://www.belmontdebate08.com.

WATCH THE DEBATE

Scholastic Kid Reporter Aaron Broder will be blogging live from the second presidential debate at Belmont University on October 7, 2008, 9:00-10:30 pm Eastern Time. Check your local listings for the television stations in your area broadcasting the debate.

ELECTION 2008

Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report.

MORE NEWS FOR KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.

 

About the Author

Aaron Broder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com