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VISIONS - Tennessee Tech University, Winter 2011
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Tennessee Tech University rolled out the red carpet Tuesday, Sept. 14, as host for the Highlands Debate 2010.

Dignitaries and media representatives from throughout the state were welcomed to campus. Among them, of course, would be our future governor.

Republican candidate Bill Haslam faced off with Democrat Mike Mcwherter for an hourlong debate on NewsChannel5 WTVF-TV.

For TTU, this is an historic happening. This was the first televised gubernatorial debate held outside a major metropolitan market. Traditionally, Tennessee major-party candidates for governor participate in three debates in the state's major media markets of Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville

"We were ready," said TTU President Bob Bell. "Hosting this debate at TTU was a major campuswide project that involved nearly every administrative unit and several academic units, especially our Department of Music and Art. This effort reflected the true spirit of our entire TTU family."

"This debate also highlighted the tremendous collaborative efforts of our city, our county, the Highlands and so many supporting organizations."

The Highlands Debate 2010 was part of the larger Nolan Fowler Constitution Day Celebration, now in its sixth year, which commemorated the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

The day's activities included:

  • STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: An all-day showcase of student political engagement in the Tech Pride Room in Roaden University Center. Student organizations registered new voters, handed out literature and conduced a straw poll. To vote in the straw poll, voters just brought a can of food for the local food bank and placed it in the box for the candidate of his or her choice.
  • POLITICAL SATIRE: At 5 p.m., a presentation about the role of political satire in democracies was held in Derryberry Auditorium. Presenter Danna Young, a specialist in the study of media, politics and public opinion, discussed the impact of such programs as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
  • GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE: Following Young's presentation about political satire, a live feed of the 7 p.m. Highlands Debate 2010 originating from Wattenbarger Auditorium in the Bryan Fine Arts Building was aired in Derryberry Hall Auditorium on campus. The debate was shown live on NewsChannel5 WTVF-TV and on CBS affiliates statewide.
  • DANCIN' ON DIXIE CONCERT: An after-debate party was held at the corner of 12th Street and Dixie Avenue immediately following the debate. Free music, popcorn and drinks were available.

For more information, see the Constitution Day website.



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