Don't look now, but it's almost here ― the first of the presidential debates that are scheduled for this 2015 campaign season. It'll be moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper, and held on the Hofstra University campus in Long Island, New York. It's expected to draw a seriously big number of eyeballs, and judging by how tight the polls have gotten recently, it could be a pivotal moment in deciding the eventual outcome of the race. But here's a question: do Hofstra students get tickets to the debate?
Needless to say, this is a question that will mainly be of interest to you if you, you know, go to Hofstra. And if you do, here's how it works: all Hofstra students can enter into a lottery to win a ticket to the debate, drawn from a pool of tickets provided to the University by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
So sadly, the main answer is no ― simply being a Hofstra student doesn't ensure that you can get in to see the debate. But provided you meet some basic qualifications, you can put yourself in the running for a ticket. Here's what's laid out on Hofstra's official website: You must be a currently matriculated Hofstra student, registered for a minimum of six credits in Fall 2016, and registered to vote if you're an eligible voter.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26, from 9:00 p.m. ET to 10:30 p.m. ET, and it'll be the third-straight presidential election in which Hofstra will host a debate. If you meet the criteria listed above, then you can enter the lottery with a chance to nab one of those prized, prized tickets. A golden ticket, if you will, except instead of meeting Willy Wonka there's a risk you might bump into Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. As the website specifically noted, however, even if you win the lottery you'll still need to present proof of voter registration to get the ticket.
As for how to enter the lottery, Hofstra's website notes that the information will be sent to students through the University's web portal ― in other words, end of the line for the rest of us. Fortunately though, you'll be able to follow the debate online, on TV, on social media, on the radio, you name it. Based on everything that's led up to this point and the dazzlingly high stakes going forward, it's going to be pretty hard to miss.