On stage: Observations on the debate

Oct. 20, 2014

Jonathan Toman, Editor-in-Chief
[email protected]

They weren’t there to see me. Of that I am certain.

Around 700 students, faculty, staff and community members packed the Gallogly Events Center on Oct. 15 for a gubernatorial debate between incumbent John Hickenlooper and challenger Bob Beauprez.

I had the privilege of serving on the media panel for the debate along with representatives from the Gazette, Colorado Springs Independent and Colorado Springs Business Journal. I was able to ask a question of Mr. Hickenlooper, get an as sociated rebuttal from Mr. Beauprez and a front row seat for the entirety of the debate.

All of these folks were in Gallogly to see a continuation of the democratic process. Perhaps more importantly, they were here to see a growing campus expand its influence to the realm of state politics.

Behind the lights, cameras and various important persons in attendance was a bedrock of information fundamental to the entire night.

UCCS did not seek out this opportunity. The school was approached by the media partners to host the event, and that is the key point.

It was not shameless self-promotion that allowed all kinds of people to come to our campus to see the debate for the highest office in the state. It was the reputation that we have garnered in the community, the reputation of the students at this school that allowed us this opportunity.

UCCS is becoming a force and people are beginning to notice. As our chancellor mentioned in her opening remarks, these are the type of events that should be held on a college campus. And it was.

Colorado Springs has a multitude of venues that could have hosted this debate. But where did it end up? On the campus of The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Not at Colorado College, the Air Force Academy or the Broadmoor World Arena. Here.

The significance of that is immense. It shows me how far we have come.

While on stage I had time to marvel at the changes that I have seen while at UCCS and the very small role I have been able to play in them. UCCS is growing up, and we are all here at a great time to witness it.

They weren’t there to see me. No doubt. They were there to see where UCCS has been, where we are and where we are heading.

Having a front row seat for that ain’t bad.