The real winners of the 2008 VP debate

Dear Editor,

Last Thursday, our university hosted the 2008 vice presidential debate. Although the debate is unlikely to change the way that people vote, there is always one inevitable question that people ask: who won?

The real winners were the students.

On the most basic level, our school is getting noticed! In fact, even Saturday Night Live showed a clip of Wash. U. While I personally do not buy into the argument that our school’s name recognition, or rather lack thereof, prevents students from getting jobs and internships, it does certainly help students when employers are more familiar with the school.

Throughout the week, we volunteered, appeared on the news, met famous people—and of course we had fun. A friend of mine fits into the last category. He was so anxious to be on the news that he went up to a complete stranger and said, “I heard you were looking to interview students.” The governor of Missouri responded, “No, but we can take a picture.”

As a volunteer, I was assigned to the AB Hospitality Tent in the debate hall, and I was given a difficult task: drink booze, eat steak and welcome famous people to Wash. U. And so began a great night…I moved from table to table, from Senator Liebermann to Governor Richardson, from Katie Couric to Fred Thompson and made sure to enjoy every moment. The night got better by the hour and I even had the confidence to sit down with one of Senator McCain’s staff members who happened to be the prettiest girl in the tent. Then I was rejected and brought back to reality, which was a good thing. Well, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Anecdotes aside, the biggest reason for why we are the winners is because we go to a school that is truly committed to its students. Although we may not always like the construction, who can complain about having our own metro station? How about a new student center? And the new hires in the economics department? In many ways, the debate represents a continuation of what Wash. U. has been doing for us year after year: opening doors and investing in our futures. It is a great feeling to be at a school that invests in its students as Wash. U. does—take advantage of it, because four years go by too fast.

Marc Klein
Class of 2009

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