For VP Debate, Wash. U. Operations Slow to a Crawl

Although the school has hosted debates before, this year's has seen unprecedented attention.

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Washington University in St. Louis is locked down in preparation for tonight's vice presidential debate, restricting campus access to students and permit holders only and closing down streets and parking lots, the Student Life reports. Although the school has hosted three other vice presidential debates, the unprecedented interest in this year's has university officials on their toes. "Who ever thought that the VP debate would take the spotlight from the three presidential debates?" asks one administrator.

Students have also embraced the spotlight, volunteering for debate walkthroughs and lining up at the crack of dawn for a peek at CBS's Early Show broadcast from the campus. The St. Louis craigslist site has also been blowing up with offers and requests for tickets, with prices ranging from $25 to $2,000. If there's any question of the desperation, here's one example of a post: "I'll pay you $100. We're both in our 50s—you could say we're your parents. Or maybe you have some other idea. (Is there a secret underground tunnel?) Whatever works to get us on the campus—you're a hundred dollars richer."