Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

Students Play a Big Role in Presidential Debates at FAU

BOCA RATON (January 18, 2008) – It’s debate countdown time at Florida Atlantic University, and students are taking center stage.   From volunteering with visiting news media behind the cameras, to participating in rehearsals on stage in front of the cameras, students continue to play a starring role in the range of  activities leading up to the presidential debates scheduled for January 24 and 27 on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

Members of FAU’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) will be featured as they present the Color Guard as part of the pre-debate program.   These students have the honor of placing the flags on the debate stage and retiring them at the end of the evening.  

Student volunteers from the University’s School of Communication and Multimedia Studies will gain behind-the-scenes access to the debates as they volunteer for temporary assignments with the production staff of NBC News. The volunteers will be involved in everything from running errands to acting as stand-ins for candidates and moderators during debate rehearsals.

Megan Trombino, a senior from Fort Lauderdale majoring in public communications with a minor in sociology, is scheduled to be a stand-in for one of the candidates during rehearsal on Wednesday, and she will plans to be one of four assistants for Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Thursday.  “I am thrilled to be a part of this event,” said Trombino.  “I feel privileged to be working with NBC as a representative for FAU.”  Trombino plans to continue her studies at FAU next year, pursuing a graduate degree in the School of Communications and Multimedia Studies.

In addition to volunteering, students are engaged in learning and sharing information about the candidates and the issues facing the country. Students involved in the American Democracy Project facilitated discussion groups during a community workshop entitled “How to Watch a Political Debate,” while the Student Government Association (SGA) presented a presidential mock debate in which members of the College Democrats and the College Republicans represented candidates and fielded questions from moderator State Representative Maria Lorts Sachs (District 86, Florida).    

Other events aimed at getting students involved included SGA’s “Free Speech in the Breezeway” and “Mission Green,” where student groups set up tables to talk about issues facing the country. One of these groups, the FAU student chapter of the Florida Water Environment Association, provided information about water conservation and the environment.

For information regarding student activities, contact Polly Burks at 561-297-2595.

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