Security Concerns: Wright State University bails on hosting first 2016 U.S. Presidential debate; Hofstra University steps up for it
Wright State University officials are bailing out on the honor of hosting the very first 2016 U.S. Presidential debate due to “safety” and financial costs, according to the announcement posted on their website.
The Wright State Board of Trustees fully supports their president, David R. Hopkins, on the decision to cancel, said board Chair Michael Bridges. Chairman Bridges believes that this is “the responsible thing to do.” Bridges added the main issue then, per the post.
“While the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Wright State hosting the debate, the safety and security of the campus and community is of paramount importance.”
“Hosting the debate was expected to cost Wright State between $3 million and $5 million and as much as $8 million,” according to officials. Wright State President Hopkins sees this as a bigger financial burden on the university.
“We have a responsibility to our community both safety-wise and financially to do the right thing,” said Wright State President Hopkins.
‘a growing crescendo’
“This is a very difficult decision, [but] there has been a growing crescendo of concern about what it would take to guarantee the safety and security of the campus and the community. The expense would be daunting,” said Wright State President Hopkins.
As noted also in the announcement, Wright State “… cannot restrict public access to its campus, which adds to security challenges.” Private Universities hosting debates in the past apparently are allowed to restrict access from the public.
“We were fully aware of the challenges and were prepared to meet them when we decided to host the debate, but things have changed,” said Hopkins. “The current national environment has made security even more critical.”
Hofstra University will host Sept. 26 debate
The honor of hosting this first Presidential debate goes to Hofstra University, according to the information over at the 2016Debate website.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has announced the formats for the three scheduled presidential debates.
“The formats for the 90-minute debates are designed to facilitate in-depth discussion of the leading issues facing the nation,” the CPD information states. “The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate.”
One vice presidential debate is also scheduled for the fall as well. As in the presidential debates, the formats “… are designed to facilitate in-depth discussion of the leading issues facing the nation.”