Debate seats are limited

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Marquette announced Monday in its e-mail news briefs that there will be a lottery for the 30 tickets to the 2004 presidential candidates debate that are available for students. The debate will be held in the Monaghan Ballroom on Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Journal Communications Inc., the media company that owns the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and TMJ 04, confirmed Friday that it will give Marquette 40 tickets.

"We are excited and we hope Marquette is too," said Alison Wiese, a marketing account executive for Journal Communications. "The facility works well with our plans and we wanted to hold it on campus. I think its great publicity for everyone involved."

The Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Student Affairs allotted 10 of those tickets for university leadership and trustees, according to the press release.

Ben Tracy, director of university communication, and Stephanie Quade, associate dean of Student Development, said it was decided that a lottery was the best way to distribute the tickets among the student body.

The lottery "was the only fair way to deal with a small amount of tickets and high interest," Quade said. "It seems like the natural decision and we don't have a lot of time."

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students are allowed to participate in the lottery. Registration forms can be picked up at the Office of Student Development, room 329, or downloaded at www.marquette.edu/opa/downloads/debate.pdf. All complete forms must be returned to the OSD 329 by 5 p.m., Monday. The drawing will be held next Wednesday and chosen students will be contacted immediately.

According to OSD administrative assistant Lynne Merkel, about 100 students had completed forms as of Wednesday.

Dan Calandriello, a volunteer for DebateWatch, said he regrets Marquette not getting more tickets.

"This is a great opportunity for Marquette's student body," Calandriello said. "I believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The only wish I have is that we could have had more tickets to actually go to the debate in the AMU."

The OPA and the OSA will present a simultaneous televised version of the debate at Weasler Auditorium in addition to the live debate. Students are welcome to participate in "DebateWatch 2004," which will be followed by an analysis through panel discussion and question and answer session between students and professors. Refreshments will also be provided. Tickets are required to go to this event as well, and DebateWatch has not decided yet how or when to distribute tickets.

"Our hope for DebateWatch is to tap into the enthusiasm that there is for the debate and to give a much larger part of our population a chance to participate," Quade said. "We know everyone is excited about the program. Very few people are going to go and we are offering an alternative to that."

Calandriello said DebateWatch should include an MSNBC brodcast of the debate and a live feed to the Monaghan Ballroom during commercial breaks.

"This will be an added bonus that you can't get at home watching the debate," Calandriello said.

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