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University withdraws from hosting 2020 presidential debate

| Monday, July 27, 2020

Notre Dame has withdrawn from hosting the first 2020 presidential debate, which was slated to occur Sept. 29, University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email Monday.

“After consultation with Dr. Mark Fox, St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer, and with the unanimous support of the Executive Committee of our Board of Trustees, I have made this difficult decision because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus,” Jenkins said.

Mariah Rush | The Observer
An advertisement for the presidential debate in South Bend International Airport. The debate, the first of the general election season, has now been canceled.

As student attendance of the debate, volunteer opportunities and accompanying events will all be diminished as a result of the pandemic, Jenkins said students will be limited in the opportunity to engage in the American political process, which was the primary purpose of the event.

“I am grateful to the many members of the University community who have devoted countless hours to planning this event, and to the Commission on Presidential Debates leadership for their professionalism and understanding,” Jenkins said.

The Sept. 29 debate will now be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, according to The Hill.

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