SC State setting up campus for candidates, media - - Columbia, South Carolina

SC State setting up campus for candidates, media

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - A new state of mind - that's the motto for South Carolina State University. And with the first 2008 presidential debate being held there in less than two weeks, some are looking for peace of mind. Douglas Dent of the South Carolina Democratic Party says, "The biggest problem we have at this stage of the game is just pulling it all together."

Friday, officials from the university and state Democratic party met to discuss their progress. One organizer - Douglas Dent - was a chairman on the committee that held the Democratic debate in Greenville's Peace Center three years ago. "This one's different from Greenville because the venues were already there. They were already established. The venues here have not been set up for this kind of event."

Dent says at the Peace Center there was extra internet and wireless service - something that South Carolina State had to add.

Now that the state Democratic party has confirmed that all eight Democratic presidential candidates will be attending the debate, as well as over 300 media outlets from around the world, South Carolina State University has a lot riding on its shoulders, including its reputation.

Dent says, "We still have a lot of work to do in ten days and it's going to take a lot of effort on a lot of people's parts."

The actual debate is being held inside the Martin Luther King auditorium. WIS wasn't allowed to go inside, and Dent says there's a lot of construction left to do to the set.

But some with South Carolina State say the hard part is over. Erica Prioleau tells WIS, "The major footwork on campus is done. We're ready; we're ready."

And while Dent may disagree with how much work is left to be done, he too believes the debate will be a success just like it was three years ago. "It's going to happen."

Reported by Trey Paul

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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