January 12, 2004

College Democrats to sponsor senatorial debate

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The seven Democrats vying to become the next U.S. senator from Illinois will face off in "The Debate for the South" on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The College Democrats, a registered student organization at SIUC, is sponsoring the debate, set for 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Student Center Ballrooms C and D. Organization officials announced details of the event, co-sponsored by the Egyptian Building and Construction Trades Council and Illinois NOW, during a news conference today (Jan. 12).

"This debate will give Southern Illinois the opportunity to examine the Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and make informed and educated decisions about who to support and vote for in March," said TyJuan J. Cratic, president of the College Democrats.

Illinois' primary election is March 16. The Democratic and Republican winners will vie to replace Republican Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, who is not seeking re-election.

Participating in the debate are: Gery Chico, former president of the Chicago Board of Education; Blair Hull, founder of Hull Trading Co. in Chicago; state Comptroller Dan Hynes; state Sen. Barack Obama from Chicago; Maria Pappas, Cook County treasurer and former Cook County commissioner; radio talk show host Nancy Skinner; and health care executive Joyce Washington.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers can meet with the candidates during a media availability, set for 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. the day of the debate in Ballroom D of the Student Center.

Neal Young, president of SIUC's Undergraduate Student Government, will serve as debate moderator. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to questions related to the environment, the economy, health care, higher education, No Child Left Behind, international relations, Social Security and the Patriot Act. The candidates will have two minutes each for closing statements.

Serving others and encouraging students to become citizen-leaders are among the goals of Southern at 150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.