The debate is over, now I can breathe.
- SPENCER EGGERS/The Daily Campus
After two straight months of planning, and a fewer and fewer hours spent sleeping as the debate approached, it’s finally over. And it was a success.
I’ll be honest, when I first conceived of this idea I didn’t think we were going to pull it off. After calling all of the candidates, and having them give me the big “Wait, who is this?” and then tell me that they wouldn’t do it unless I pulled another (bigger) media sponsor on board, I armied up with a steering committee full of awesome people, and gave assignments.
We divided and conquered. One person called WFAA, they said no. Another called KDFA, they said “definitely not.” Another called NBC, they didn’t call back. I left a message with KTVT, and then resigned to thinking our big plan was just a pipe dream. Then KTVT called back…and said yes.
Needless to say, there was a small celebration in The Daily Campus newsroom. Then the fun stopped, and we got down to business and planned and fundraised for two months (OK, I’m lying, that was fun too).
It’s been a pretty insane planning experience. Raising a few thousand dollars for this type of event isn’t exactly what you’d call easy. Nor is trying to get the school to work with you on parking and extra security (which I’m glad ended up being free, since the officer sat on the couch in the lobby the whole time. Intimidating? No. But maybe he would have mobilized of someone attacked a candidate, who knows.). But hey, we did it. It’s done. Yay.
So, thanks to the steering committee especially Alex Ehmke, who fundraised over $3,000 at the very last minute; Chad Cohen, who went to get food for the candidates in the rain and made several trips for water bottles; and Adriana Martinez, who, like a champ, sat in the KTVT truck with four large men and kept time for the debate.
And on behalf of the entire steering committee and The Daily Campus, thank you to KTVT who took a chance and decided to do an hour of live TV with a college newspaper. I’m not sure why you did it, but thanks.
So, at the end of the day, I’ve learned several things. First, it’s the best feeling in the world to pull of a project you spent months planning. Second, sometimes people will take a chance on you if you just ask. Third, college students care, and care a lot, about city politics. And finally, I will never switch out of journalism and into event planning. It just won’t happen.