For Our Community

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the Danforth Campus will be accessible only to Washington University students, faculty and staff with a valid university ID, or credentialed media/vendors. Please carry your ID with you at all times.

Here’s what our neighbors and campus community need to know about the debate.


Please see our policy on political, campaign and lobbying activity for information about Washington University’s commitment to the expression and discussion of ideas and opinions, and the requirement that the university remain politically neutral.

When and where will the debate be held?
The presidential debate will be held at 8 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. It will take place in Washington University’s Athletic Complex, the same venue as its previous debates. The university will also make available to the CPD the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center, a 60,000-square-foot addition to the Athletic Complex that is set to open in August 2016.

Isn’t the Athletic Complex under construction?
Yes, it is. Construction is in progress on an expansion to the Athletic Complex. The Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center will open soon, along with the Gary M. Sumers Fitness Center. The project includes a complete 36,000-square-foot interior rejuvenation of historic Francis Gymnasium, site of the 1904 Olympics, as well as a 66,500-square-foot addition to the south side of Francis Gymnasium and an additional 20,000 square feet of improvements to the existing Athletic Complex. More information, including renderings of the facility’s design, is available on the Athletic Complex Expansion Project website.

Will be Athletic Complex remain open in the days leading up to the debate?
No. It will be closed from Sept. 30-Oct. 10. Learn about Athletic Complex closure.

Who will get to attend the debate?
Tickets to the presidential debates are managed by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). If the CPD gives Washington University tickets to the debate on Oct. 9 — and there is never a guarantee that the university will receive any tickets — they will be distributed only to current graduate and undergraduate students via a lottery system. Administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and the public were not eligible for the lottery. No debate tickets are available to the public through Washington University.

Will there be road closures or traffic restrictions in the neighborhoods around campus?
Yes, there will be some disruption to normal traffic flow around the university during the weekend of the debate. Learn about road closures.

Will there be restrictions on accessing campus?
Yes. Restrictions will be in place on the Danforth Campus from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10. Learn about campus access.

Will there be restrictions on parking and transportation?
Yes. Restrictions will be in place in several locations on the Danforth and West Campuses, and there will be changes to some bus and shuttle routes. Learn about parking and transportation.

What about security? Will there be extra measures in place?
Yes. Security will be a top priority and members of the university community should be aware of a number of measures that will cause disruption to normal life on campus. Learn about debate security.

How can I volunteer to help with the debate?
Volunteer applications are now closed. They were available to members of the Washington University community until Friday, June 17, 2016. Learn more about volunteering.

I’m a member of the media. How can I apply for a credential to cover the debate?
Visit the media credentials page for information.

Can I submit a question to be asked at the debate?
No. The CPD is solely responsible for the content of the debate, including the questions that will be asked of the candidates. The debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderators based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. Washington University has no influence over the questions that will be asked and we do not have any way to submit ideas or suggestions to the CPD.

I have a different question. Who can I contact?
You can send an email to debate@wustl.edu and we will do our best to help direct you to the appropriate person.