The Democratic Presidential Debate will be held at Otterbein University Tuesday night at 8pm.
“This is a historic opportunity for our students to join in the democratic process,” said Otterbein President John Comerford. “This university has a proud history of growing an informed, engaged citizenry. Our students will have a front-row seat to the power of democracy.”
Otterbein University has about 3,000 enrolled students. And its population could almost double as thousands pour in for the national presidential debate.
A dozen Democratic presidential candidates will square off in a full stage debate. Most eyes will be on the three leading candidates, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The city of Westerville says it is prepared for the national spotlight and the number of people in the city this week. Street access in the areas around Otterbein University’s campus has been restricted. Westerville schools will dismiss students early and Otterbein will delay the start of classes after its fall break to accommodate the debate.
The city has also set up a “free-speech zone” on Main Street between Knox and Center streets, but demonstrators can legally assemble on any public property, Christa Dickey, city spokeswoman, told the Columbus Dispatch.
In addition, traffic and public parking on State Street will remain open during the debate, and some of the shops in Uptown will remain open for extended hours Tuesday, while other streets will be closed or have restricted access.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Westerville will close Main Street between Knox and North West streets, Grove Street between Park and Home streets, and Home Street between State and North West streets. Parking will be banned on all or portions of North West, Vine, Home and Park streets along with Executive and Directors courts. Parking restrictions on West Broadway Avenue will be lifted Wednesday.