(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
CU-Boulder’s Coors Events Center.
As controversy continued to grow over the lack of seats made available to University of Colorado students for the Republican presidential debate at the Coors Events Center on October 28th, progressive and student advocacy groups joined with CU students to request an additional 1,000 seats in the 11,000 seat capacity venue be made available to students.
“I was excited to learn that the Republican presidential candidates are coming to my campus,” said Spencer Carnes, a University of Colorado undergraduate student. “But when I found out that most of the seats in the Coors Events Center will be empty, and that students had almost no chance of actually seeing the debate in person, I was offended. If politicians want to use my school as a backdrop, we expect them to let us be in the room to hear what they have to say.”
“We’ve heard loud and clear from students at the University of Colorado that they expect better,” said Amy Runyon-Harms of ProgressNow Colorado. “There is tremendous excitement about holding such an important event on the Boulder campus, but shutting the CU student body out of the debate sends the wrong message. There are thousands of CU students from all walks of life who want to hear from these candidates, and there’s no reason why they can’t be accommodated.”
“No one on our campus buys this excuse that they can only handle 1,000 people at the Coors Events Center,” said Dylan Robinson-Ruet, a CU student. “If the debate is only for TV, why hold it in a basketball stadium? If they can accommodate 1,000 hand-picked attendees in a stadium that seats 11,000, they can certainly handle 1,000 more for CU students who want to be there. In fact, it’s the least they can do.”
“This is about misusing the reputation of Colorado’s flagship university,” said Runyon-Harms. “We support hosting this important debate on the University of Colorado campus. But using CU to boost the credibility of these candidates while excluding CU students from participation in this debate is simply wrong. It’s time for debate organizers to do the right thing, as we’ve called for from the beginning, and make 50% of the seats at this debate available to CU students. That means making 1,000 more seats available to CU students in addition to the 1,000 seats already spoken for.”
“If the GOP refuses to allow students to even attend a presidential debate on their own campus,” asked Runyon-Harms, “what does that say about the candidates?”