CU students upset about low number of tickets to upcoming Republican debate

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BOULDER, Colo. — In two weeks, Republican candidates will face off in a debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder. And students are upset about the way tickets are being handled.

The Coors Events Center will be set up to host the debate. One thousand tickets are available for spectators. One-hundred of those are set aside for CU students and staff. Students argue the small amount of tickets will not be an accurate reflection of Boulder or the campus.

A group of students organized a campaign called #StudentVoicesCount. They are lobbying to add 800 more student seats at the Oct. 28 debate. The group has gained national support from Congressman Jared Polis, D-Boulder, and other political organizations.

“It started as getting more tickets for the debate for students, but it’s really expanded to be about just in general making sure that students’ voices are heard in the political process just as equally as every other American,” CU senior Aaron Estevez-Miller said.

CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano said the issue is out of the university’s control because the debate is a private event. CNBC and the Republican National Committee are responsible for tickets and other logistics.

More than 100 students gathered on campus Tuesday to watch the Democratic candidates debate. They say it is important for young people to be well informed and involved in the political process.

"If a hundred kids right here just to watch it live on TV with a bunch of their friends, something they could have done from home, then I’m certain that much, much more than 100 people want to be at Coors Events Center on the 28th really engaging with the Republican candidates,” CU senior Spencer Carnes said.

The campus is hosting a watch party the night of the debate. The candidates have been invited. If they show up, students could have an even better opportunity to engage them.

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