“Never before in the history of presidential elections have we seen the importance of the student vote sought after on so many levels. Students are deeply concerned about what world we will enter when we graduate, and we need to know what the candidates’ plans are concerning these pressing national issues.”
Biography: Mark Dudley remembers watching the first presidential debate held at Washington University in 1992 on television—he was 5 years old. Today, the 21-year-old is a political science major at Washington University and a volunteer giving tours of the debate site and assisting members of the media on campus for the event.
“Being selected for an unprecedented fifth time to host one of the debates is a tremendous honor for Washington University. Students have been looking forward to this event from the first day we first stepped on campus as freshmen,” Dudley says. “With just days left before Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin square off in the Athletic Complex, the level of excitement on campus grows exponentially with each passing hour.”
As founder and president of the Political Science Student Association, Dudley is sharing his enthusiasm for politics and analysis in this election year. He sees a tremendous surge in student interest in politics and global concerns: “The state of the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care crisis, higher education tuition costs, environmental climate change, finding viable alternative sources of energy, the place of civil liberties in post-9/11 America – these are the issues students are concerned about, and these are the issues which need to be addressed.”
Dudley led a student delegation to the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004 and has worked on campaigns for both political parties. He is active in student politics and works as a teaching assistant and researcher for professors in the political science department. He has high expectations for the vice presidential debate on and off campus.
“Due to the increased concern and international focus on the two vice presidential candidates of this election… it is my hope that we will be able to look beyond partisan politics and study these issues and events through the field and the practice of political science.”
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Major/minor: Political science with a minor in business
Student contact information: Cell: (314) 495-4821 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org