VSU to host presidential debate
Free Press staff report | 11/22/2023, 6 p.m.
Virginia State University will be one of the three universities to host a presidential debate in 2024, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.
The Petersburg area school will be the first historically black college or university ever to host one of the nationally televised debates that have taken place every four years since the commission’s creation in 1988.
VSU was selected to host the second debate scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1, according to the commission.
The debate will take place in the 6,000 seat Multi-Purpose Center that the school opened in 2016 to host basketball games, concerts and other events, according to VSU’s announcement. Further details on admission policies are to be announced later.
“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” VSU’s president, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, stated in the release announcing the event.
“This is a historic moment for our university and for HBCUs nationwide. Our university mantra is “Greater Happens Here,” Dr. Abdullah stated, “and we look forward to welcoming the candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the entire nation to VSU.”
VSU, he added, is prepared for the preparatory work that will go into serv- ing as a host.
The two other schools are Texas State University in San Marcos, which will host the first debate set for Monday, Sept. 16, while the University of Utah will host the final debate at its Salt Lake City campus on Wednesday, Oct. 9, before voters decide the election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The lone vice presidential debate is to take place Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
Both major parties have yet to hold nominating contests to finalize their choices.
Current Democratic President Biden already has announced his re-election bid, but will have two primary challengers. Former Republican President Donald Trump is seeking to win his party’s nomination, but also has at least five rivals competing to lead their party’s ticket.