BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – University of Colorado student Brady Itkin is 18 and excited to vote in his first presidential election next year.
The Virginia native is also embracing his democratic rights as a citizen and is gathering signatures for a petition aimed at the Republican Party. His goal? To allow more students like him into the Coors Events Center to see next month’s GOP debate in person.
The arena on the school’s Boulder campus seats more than 10,000. Reports indicate only 1,000 people will be allowed in for the debate on Oct. 28. Of those seats, only 100 will be available to CU students, according to reports.
“What would make it right is if we got tickets,” said Itkin, who would like to see at least 900 tickets made available to students.
Itkin said he has gathered more than 200 signatures on his petition so far.
“I’d also love to see if we could have a candidates interacting with students on campus,” Itkin said.
Itkin was one of several students CBS4 interviewed on Sunday who say they aren’t content with the ticket situation.
Some started a Facebook page called Student Voices Count: a Gathering for Inclusion at the CU GOP Debate and a Twitter page called Student Voices Count. More than 700 people had viewed the page as of late Sunday night, and it may serve as a rallying point for a future protest in person.
“We think this is an opportunity for everyone to really speak out and say that we want a political system that accurately represents us,” one student said.
A chief spokesman for the GOP told The Daily Camera newspaper the debate is a televised event and not meant for a live audience.
“You can watch on TV, but that just doesn’t give you the right feeling of it, like you get the real feeling for it when you get to experience it live,” Jennifer Baumann said.
At this point, the students feel they are losing an opportunity to decide on a candidate.
“I feel like it could very much sway who I vote for,” Dylan Robinson-Ruet said.
“There are conservatives, there are liberals that are infuriated by this,” Robinson-Ruet said.
CBS4’s attempts to get a comment on this story on Sunday from the university and from the Republican Party were unsuccessful.