UConn to Host Connecticut’s 2012 U.S. Senate Debates

2012 Senate debate logo.

Candidates running for the Connecticut U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Joe Lieberman will be debating at UConn this spring. The debates are sponsored by FOX CT and The Hartford Courant.

The first debate takes place on April 9 at 1 p.m. at UConn’s von der Mehden Recital Hall in Storrs.

Democratic candidates Susan Bysiewicz, Chris Murphy, Matthew Oakes, William Tong, and Lee Whitnum have been invited to attend.

A June 14 Republican debate is also planned. Because that debate will come after the Republican nominating convention, the roster of participating candidates has yet to be finalized.

The announced Republican candidates are Brian Hill, Peter Lumaj, Linda McMahon, Christopher Shays, and Kie Westby.

This is the second time in the past two years UConn has hosted a statewide political debate. The University teamed up with the Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association in 2010 to co-sponsor two gubernatorial debates at the UConn Law School in Hartford.

“As the state’s flagship public university, UConn needs to be front and center when it comes to discussions about politics and public policy in Connecticut,” said UConn President Susan Herbst, whose academic field is political science and communications. “We’re thrilled to be hosting this debate and are looking forward to hosting the candidates on campus.”

The 2012 UConn debates will be live-streamed on www.courant.com and www.CTnow.com as well as aired on FOX CT.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the University and televising the political debates again this year,” said Rich Graziano, vice president and general manager of FOX CT. “It’s important for our viewers to see candidates’ points of view when making informed decisions for whom to vote.”

If you would like to attend the April 9 debate:
You must be a UConn student, faculty, or staff member.
You must register with the Office of University Events by April 7.
Register by emailing rsvp@uconn.edu or calling 860-486-1038.
Names will be checked at the door. If you do not register, you will not be allowed into the venue.
If there is a question you would like to have asked as part of the debate, please send it to opinion@courant.com by April 5 for consideration.

Audience seats will be available to UConn students, faculty and staff only on April 9. Seating at the event is limited and will be decided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone interested in attending must register with the Office of University Events by April 7. Members of the UConn community can register by emailing rsvp@uconn.edu or calling 860-486-1038.

UConn IDs will be checked at the door. If you do not register, you will not be allowed into the venue.

Everyone must be in their seats at least 20 minutes before the debate starts and they must remain in their seats until the event ends.

Since the debates are being taped for television, audience members must abide by specific ground rules. These rules of attendance – outlined below – will be strictly enforced. Anyone not complying with the rules of the event will not be able to attend.

The rules of attendance are as follows:

  • Audience members may not get up and down or speak during the live taping.
  • The use of laptops, cell phones, cameras, or any other electronic device during the taping is prohibited.
  • Signs, placards, cards, and other campaign materials are prohibited within the auditorium.
  • 2-inch candidate campaign buttons are permitted.
  • Audience members are asked to refrain from applauding or in other ways demonstrating support for or opposition to a candidate during the debate.