DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of University of Denver students got a chance to be a part of history at the presidential debate on Wednesday night.

As part of the university’s events as it hosted the debate at Magness Arena, the Debate Fest area was packed all day and into the chilly night.

There were multiple stages, live music, special speakers like Gov. John Hickenlooper and two huge screens for everyone who wanted watch the debate together.

Many told CBS4 they were honored to watch the debate on their own campus and to see so many people engaged in politics.

“In one word it was electrifying. Sitting there surrounded by my peers as well as a variety of community members. It was an experience that’s going to come to define my college time here at DU,” student Parker Calbert said.

Student Ariel Bravo told CBS4 it was good to see President Barack Obama and Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaking in a setting besides a political ad or a campaign rally.

“I like that they were starting to get into the details of the specific policies that they wish to enact. I think it was a much greater discussion that was going a little bit deeper than our usual superficial conversations that we kind of get the sound bites from,” student Ariel Bravo said.

One student watching the debate told CBS4 “they are talking about creationg of jobs and how that’s going to impact students when we graduate.”

“Both have had zingers on different issues,” another student said. “So far I just think that there’s not really a clear winner or loser. It’s definitely going to be a difficult decision coming up in November.”

The university handed out 5,000 tickets for Debate Fest and they estimates about half of those people who attended stayed to watch the debate, partially due to the cooling temperatures.


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