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Students and members of the community are invited to the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy on the UT campus to watch the upcoming presidential debate and discuss it via videoconference with crowds gathered statewide.

DebateWatch begins at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium, with a viewing of the first of the 2012 presidential debates, moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS NewsHour.

After the debate concludes and the broadcast is turned off, those attending will connect with other college campuses statewide by videoconference. Schools confirmed to participate with UT are the University of Tennessee, Martin, and East Tennessee State University. The participation of other colleges is pending.

“By avoiding the influence of generally partisan post-debate commentary on broadcast networks, those at the DebateWatch are able to reflect on the debate in a civil, thoughtful environment,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center.

Previous DebateWatch events at the Baker Center proved to be stimulating and enjoyable experiences.

“The opportunity to discuss the campaign talking points with students from other campuses was very valuable,” said Elizabeth Williams, 2012 graduate in the College Scholars Program, who attended the 2008 presidential election DebateWatch. “Not only is it an exciting environment in which to watch the debate, it reminds students of the importance of being an informed voter.”

The Toyota Auditorium holds 180 people, so those planning to attend the 2012 presidential election DebateWatch should arrive early.

The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center is a nonpartisan institute devoted to education and research concerning public policy and civic engagement. For more information about the Baker Center, visit bakercenter.utk.edu.

For more information about DebateWatch events, visit debates.org.

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681, nissa@utk.edu)