FAQs about the gubernatorial debate on campus

What’s happening?
TTU will host the Highlands Debate 2010 on Sept. 14. This is a gubernatorial debate between candidates Bill Haslam and Mike McWherter that will be broadcast statewide on CBS television affiliates at 7 p.m. central time.

Can I get a ticket to the debate?
Most likely, no, you will not get a ticket. Seating in Wattenbarger Auditorium is limited, and tickets are not available to the public.  However, the Student Government Association does have a limited number of student tickets to distribute and will be deciding how that process will work. (Watch the Tech Times for more information about student tickets.) But there are still ways to be involved on campus and watch the debate.

The bulk of student activity during the debate will take place in Derryberry Auditorium. As you may know, Sept. 14 is also Constitution Day at TTU. A presentation about political satire begins at 5 p.m. and a live feed of the debate begins at 7 p.m. Then join the fun with another “Dancin’ on Dixie” concert at the corner of 12th and Dixie immediately following the debate. Free music, popcorn and drinks will be available at this street celebration.

Can I ask a question?
Please do. Go to this website to submit yours for consideration.

Can I wear a political T-shirt and cheer for my candidate?
Absolutely – anywhere EXCEPT in the debate hall in Bryan Fine Arts building. Derryberry Hall Auditorium is the place to be on the evening of Sept. 14 to express your political opinions. You’re free to cheer (or jeer) the candidates and their answers. Several student organizations will set up tables outside the auditorium to provide information, distribute literature and register new voters. However, if you’re one of the lucky few who will be watching the live debate in the Bryan Fine Arts building, you cannot wear or bring any campaign-themed or politically-related shirts, signs, banners, etc. into the venue.

Are there other activities during the day?
Expect to see supporters of both campaigns – and even some protests – on campus that day. The campaigns are likely to set up tents and hand out literature along Dixie Avenue, and some protesters may even be present. During the day, several student organizations are sponsoring activities in the Tech Pride Room in Roaden University Center. After the debate, a street party is scheduled along Dixie Avenue in front of the Bryan Fine Arts Building. Cookeville-based bluegrass band The Ballingers and country music cover band Barefoot Renegades will perform.

What’s the campus traffic situation on Sept. 14?
Because of the volume of activity on campus that day, some streets will be closed to traffic beginning about 9 a.m. Closures include Dixie Avenue in front of the Bryan Fine Arts Building, B Street beside Bryan Fine Arts and Peachtree Street behind Bryan Fine Arts.

What about parking?
Parking will be limited on Sept. 14, so if you have to drive to campus, plan to arrive early.  A better option would be to park off campus and take the CATS bus from one of their many stop locations. The open lots across from Bryan Fine Arts and Pennebaker Hall will be reserved the entire day for debate parking. Areas along B Street and Peachtree will also be reserved for those persons with disabilities who are attending the debate and for police and debate-related parking.


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