Hopkins’ message to students was simple: “I know you’re disappointed and I’m disappointed very much for you, but we will not be able to host the debate this year.”
Hopkins said that the university would host other civic engagement events and activities for students related to the debate. But some students still questioned the intent behind the withdrawal.
“I feel like it wasn’t about the safety of the students,” said Evan Haynes, a third-year organizational student and vice president of the Black Student Union. “I feel like it was more about the safety of the candidates.”
Kara Dingess, a fourth-year communications student, said she had worked with a student group that had been planning for the debate for months — all for nothing.
“I’ve been going to meetings since May about the debate festival watch party,” she said. “We’ve been putting a lot of work and effort into this and it’s just fallen apart.”