During the 2008 presidential race IGS became the place on campus to watch history unfold.
"That year we overflowed the library," said Ethan Rarick, Director of the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service—who organizes the event. "Hundreds of students and community members turned out, we had media teams reporting from IGS and it was co-sponsored by Cal Dem and Berkeley College Republicans—so each side was well represented."
After the popularity of 2008, Rarick and his team decided to cement the tradition by hosting debate-viewing parties, informational panels and election return viewing during the 2010 California Governor's race.
Last week life-sized cutouts of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney greeted hundreds of students as they packed in to the IGS library—transformed for the occasion with red, white and blue decorations throughout—to watch the first presidential debate. There were raffles for participants, light refreshments and plenty of excitement from the crowd.
IGS will host viewing parties for every debate, and a couple of great expert panels before election night. For a full list of what’s to come, check out our 2012 Election Events page.