Join the USF "Political Debate Parties"

Public invited to join the USF community for U.S. Senate and Florida Gubernatorial Debate Watch Parties.


Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 19, 2010) – The election is less two weeks away, and political discourse is heating up all over the country.  And, as voting day draws closer, USF, CNN and the St. Petersburg Times will sponsor two of the hottest debates in the state, and you are invited to join the “Watch Party”!


USF is pleased to welcome the Tampa Bay community, along with USF students, faculty, staff and alumni, to watch the debates for Florida’s next governor and to fill the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.  The U.S. Senate debate will take place on the USF Tampa campus and be moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.  It will air live on CNN’s “State of the Union” at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24.  CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King will moderate the gubernatorial debate, and it will air live on “John King USA” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25.  The debates will take place and be broadcast from the College of The Arts in Theatre 1.  All USF tickets for the debate were distributed directly to USF students through a lottery system held by Student Government.


Although there are no community tickets available for the debate, the public is encouraged to attend the Watch Parties being held on campus right next door to Theatre 1.  USF/USF Student Government will host both Debate Watch Parties in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.  St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler will host the Senate Debate Watch Party, and USF’s political expert Susan McManus will host the Gubernatorial Watch Party, providing commentary and insight throughout each debate.  Food will be served, the event is free and no tickets are required.  Immediately following the broadcasts of both debates, the candidates have been invited to greet participants in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom. 


“It is an honor to partner with CNN and the St. Petersburg Times to bring these politically significant events to the USF campus,” said USF Student Government President Cesar Hernandez. “I am thrilled to help provide our more than 47,000 students with this wonderful opportunity to engage in state and national politics. These Senate and Gubernatorial debates will help further inform our students and surrounding communities of the important issues impacting all of us.”


With CNN and the St. Petersburg Times being the only media allowed inside the theatre where the debates will take place, all other media have been invited to cover the debates from the watch parties.  A press room for print and online journalists will be set up in The Chambers room (MSC Suite 4200) in the USF Marshall Student Center.


Thirteen USF faculty representing six fields including health care, the economy, education, political science, the environment and international affairs will be available for media interviews immediately following the debates in the designated Spin Zone area located outside the Marshall Center Ballroom.  USF students will also be available in the Spin Zone area to speak with journalists.  The Spin Zone Guide listing all USF experts can be found on the USF website here.  Reporters planning to cover the debates can submit their request for media credentials at


For more information about the debates or the watch parties, please contact News Director Lara Wade at (813) 974-9090 or  log on to the USF website at

-       USF Media Contact: Lara Wade, 813-974-9060