Wash U debate preparations focusing on 'equal everything' for ca - KMOV.com

Wash U debate preparations focusing on 'equal everything' for candidates

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(Credit: Washington University / Twitter) (Credit: Washington University / Twitter)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- With six days to go before the presidential debate at Washington University security has been increased. Crews are busy building up the gym where the debate will be staged and university officials are going out of their way to make sure both candidates have "equal everything."

The move is designed to make sure neither candidate derives an advantage.

While crews were busy putting up the platform for the television cameras, News 4 talked with Andrew Koch, athletic complex facility manager for Wash U who is busy checking every detail while dividing things down the middle

“We've stopped hallways short to maintain equal square footage, blocked offices off so those aren't available for one campaign and not another, we've added offices for campaigns,” he said.

“So if there's a holding space for a candidate and it's 700 square feet the other one has to be 700 square feet,” added Steve Givens, part of the Wash U presidential debate steering committee.

The gym is about 18,000 square feet the candidates will have about 3,000 square feet. There will be 21,000 square feet for the media center and another 8,000 for Spin Alley.

But it's not just square footage that matters.

“Restrooms need to be similar. Even things as small as televisions that are in office spaces. Some of those we've had to remove or even unplug, just so that one campaign has the same exact amenities as the other campaign,” Givens said.

All that will be tweaked and modified in the next few days.

“As the campaigns start to arrive later this week they'll start coming in with request for the couches, the chairs, the computers, the phones, things of that nature,” he explained.

At the debate at Hofstra Donald Trump complained of a malfunctioning microphone.

The Commission on Presidential Debates did later say there were issues that affected the sound level in the debate hall but did not affect the audio going out on television. Koch says the microphone and the audio system are handled by the commission on presidential debates so it's out of his hands.

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