"Awesome," "amazing," "opportunity" and "once in a lifetime" were buzzwords in the explanations of how four former Syosset students felt about the chance they have been given. Michael Leibowitz, Josh Levin, Michelle Soslowitz, Kimberly Wilkens will volunteer in and around the debate hall, witnessing the historic exchange between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Tuesday night at Hofstra University.
"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Levin, a Hofstra junior studying broadcast journalism. Levin, who hopes to be a sportscaster, will work with Sirius satellite radio helping with setup and working on awareness. "I figured I'd get a better chance to be picked as a volunteer than for the ticket lottery to actually be in the debate hall."
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Levin and Soslowitz are in the communication field and took the opportunity to gain hands on experience at the historic event.
"This is a great learning experience for me as a PR person," said Soslowitz, a Hofstra senior studying public relations. She was tasked with helping morning shows with their broadcasts and various supporting roles for media personnel. "I wasn't really into politics but when I found out the debate was coming back to Hofstra, I thought why not start getting involved and learning not just about the candidates, but politics in general?"
While these two come from a media and relations background, two other students will take experience from a law and political standpoint.
"I'm so excited…I can't even put it into words," said Wilkens, a sophomore and prelaw English major. Wilkens, a former president herself of the SHS Class of 2011, will be inside the debate hall and see the candidates face off live. "It's incredible that they picked me out of so many and I'm meeting a lot of new people. This is an incredible opportunity."
"It means a lot to me be to be able to participate in the debate because I feel like I'm helping American democracy by allowing voters to get educated on the issues," said Leibowitz, a junior political science major. Leibowitz hopes to someday serve in Congress as a Senator or Representative.
No matter their role at the debate, all consider themselves extremely lucky to be involved in the debate.
"I'm not going to be in the debate hall, but just being around that atmosphere…it's an awesome chance to be involved in something like this," said Levin.
With "opportunity" being a key focus during the 2012 presidential campaign, these four students are learning the true meaning of the word. Check out the broadcasting schedule here so you can cheer them on from home.