As a student at Drexel University, almost every assumption and comparison you have made with Drexel [Oct. 30, “DNC presidential hopefuls more Dragons than Owls” by Stephen Zook] is wrong. The biggest factor for NBC and the DNC choosing Drexel is…MONEY! Except for the $300,000 that NBC spent on the event, Drexel has footed the bill for everything else logistically, including aesthetics, media technology and security. I’m fairly sure that a state[-related] school is not allowed to declare its political allegiance to one party or another by spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on a party-affiliated presidential debate. The undeniable fact about politics is that money rules, and the Drexel administration (not the student body) was willing to spend it for publicity. It is essentially a quasi-advertising campaign by Drexel. Just watch some of the NBC coverage during the day of the debate and you will see a Drexel logo in almost every shot.
The author of the editorial also seems to indicate that “Temple is more connected to the working class and average Americans, and the issues playing themselves out within it.” Actually, Drexel is also connected to the working class and average Americans. Drexel is a co-op school where most students work their way through college. Since we have actually been working, Drexel students have a fairly good pulse on the working class.
Also stated in the editorial is that there is no doubt the Drexel community is politically active. A generous assumption, but a wrong one. The Drexel community is not politically active. Most students at Drexel do not care about politics compared to other universities. In guest lectures the day of the debate by Chris Matthews and Brian Williams, the auditoriums were nowhere near filled to capacity, and campus participation was relatively dead, until non-Drexel people started arriving for Hardball with Chris Matthews live on campus.
In polling among Drexel students of who won the debate, only 600 out of more than 18,000 (less than 3.3 percent) Drexel Students voted. The fact of the matter is that most college students do not care about politics. This is exasperated at Drexel with the constant on-the-go co-op and class mentality. Drexel students are more concerned about going to work or going to class with no time in between to worry about politics. But again, that is irrelevant. It came down to money, although the Drexel administration refuses to say how much. Most students enjoyed the event and media attention, but if the students find out how much they actually spent, there will be an outcry of misspent tuition for advertising. Then, the next Democratic debate in Philly would be at the University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia or any other Philly college whose administration looking for some publicity and power that is willing to spend its student’s money. In effect, Temple is lucky it did not host the Democratic debate. You are not getting screwed out of your tuition. But then again, I’m not an expert on subliminal advertising.
Junior, Biomedical Engineering
Drexel University Student