Video | Obama & McCain at Columbia University Forum (Tadias)

By Tadias Staff
Photos by Tseday Alehegn

Published: Friday, September 12, 2008

New York (Tadias) – Presidential nominees Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain participated in a discussion regarding the importance of engaging in service and civic responsibilities on the seventh anniversary of 9/11 in New York at Columbia University.

The ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum was organized by ServiceNation, a collective of approximately 100 million Americans focused on increasing civic engagement in service and volunteer programs.

The Presidential Forum was part of a two-day summit which included speeches by Al Gore, Governor Patterson, Columbia President Bollinger and Barnard Provost Elizabeth Boylan. The forum was moderated by Judy Woodruff of PBS’ “NewsHour” and Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine.

Governor Patterson announced a cabinet level position for community service, while Provost Boylan held a moment of silence in commemoration of 9/11. Presidential Candidates were interviewed separately for approximately 45 minutes each by the moderators regarding their views on community service, their experience serving the nation, and the possibility of expanding opportunities for college graduates in both volunteer and military service.

Approximately 1,000 Columbia student recipients of the forum lottery tickets listened to the presidential candidates in Alfred Lerner Hall, while an even larger crowd flocked onto the lawn in front of Low Library, which was packed to capacity. The majority of the young crowd clapped and cheered when Obama appeared on the giant jumbotron screen erected outside. A student observing the cheers commented “it’s pretty clear which way the wind is blowing here.”

While waiting for the forum to officially begin, students were encouraged to read and pass out pamphlets on volunteer opportunities as well as registering to vote.

(Live stream of Presidential Forum)

The crowd in front of Low Library at Columbia University (September 11, 2008 |
Photo by Tseday Alehegn/Tadias)

A large crowd flocked onto the lawn in front of Low Library, which was packed to
capacity. (New York | September 11, 2008 | Photo by Tseday Alehegn/Tadias)

Students hold banners near the jumbotron screen on the lawn while waiting
for forum to begin. (Photo by Tseday Alehegn/Tadias)

Students reserving their seats on the lawn approximately 3 hours before the
forum started at 8:00 PM (Photo by Tseday Alehegn/Tadias).

Non-Columbia protesters outside the gates of the university during the
ServiceNation Presidential Candidates Forum (Photo by Tseday Alehegn/Tadias)

Senator Barack Obama

Senator John McCain

1 Response to “Video | Obama & McCain at Columbia University Forum (Tadias)”

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