Reporting Natalia Zea
Lynn University Presidential Debate
BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – South Florida’s small Lynn University in Boca Raton is an a big spotlight Monday night as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney head into their third and final debate .
The 90-minute faceoff at Lynn University offers the candidates their last opportunity to stand one-on-one before tens of millions of Americans and command their undivided attention before next month’s election. Both candidates largely dropped out of sight and devoted their weekends to debate preparations, a sure sign of the high importance they attach to the event.
Students on campus have been joined more than 3,000 members of the international press and students are taking it all in.
“The University has put a lot of effort involving every student, every international student as well,” said student Ariela Ganddini.
So many students wanted to serve as volunteers to help coordinate this debate that school managers had to turn away half of them.
“It’s a phenomenal opportunity, getting business cards and simply talking to the media. Who has this chance? We do,” said student Katie Arriolaa.
About 100 students won a lottery for tickets to be part of history. They will be among the 500 people inside the debate hall for the big event. Monday morning, those students were given strict rules to follow inside the debate hall but rules or not, they’re thrilled.
“I couldn’t believe it. I never really win anything so I’m pretty happy to be here,” said student Brandon Philips.
The other students are getting ready to attend events like the Red, White and Pool Party, a celebration of politics college style.
Lynn University paid about $5 million to get this campus debate ready.
Lynn’s President Kevin Rosss aid it’s worth every penny.
“It’s not just about having your name out there. We don’t event want to get that much larger than we are, but we wanted people to know the great things that are going on here,” said Ross.
So far security has been tight. Secret Service and private security staff have set up metal detectors and they are triple screening everyone credentialed to be here, including the University’s President.
“I pulled in and I think I went through three check points and I had my car all checked out. This is a pretty safe place right now,” said Kevin Ross.