Dennis Brown | July 28, 2020
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today the University has withdrawn as the host site for the first of the 2020 presidential debates, scheduled for Sept. 29.
After consultation with Dr. Mark Fox, St. Joseph County deputy health officer, and with the unanimous support of the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees, Father Jenkins made what he called “this difficult decision because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.” In a letter earlier today to the Notre Dame community, Father Jenkins said that “the inevitable reduction in student attendance in the debate hall, volunteer opportunities and ancillary educational events undermined the primary benefit of hosting — to provide our students with a meaningful opportunity to engage in the American political process.”
Father Jenkins added: “I am grateful to the many members of the University community who have devoted countless hours planning this event, and to the Commission on Presidential Debates leadership for their professionalism and understanding. But in the end, the constraints the coronavirus pandemic put on the event — as understandable and necessary as they are — have led us to withdraw.”
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