Frequently Asked Questions
Why was Messiah College selected to host the Compassion Forum?
Messiah College was invited by Faith in Public Life, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit resource and communication center for faith leaders, to host this unique political event because the compassion issues that the candidates will discuss strongly resonate with the mission and values of Messiah College. As a Christian College, Messiah is also well positioned to host a forum centered on compassion and social justice issues.
Additionally, because Pennsylvania will now play an important role in the primary elections, Messiah College serves as an ideal location in a key state for the candidates.
Have the candidates confirmed their attendance?
Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama have accepted the invitation to participate in The Compassion Forum. Senator John McCain has thus far declined the invitation, which is still open.
Can I get a ticket?
Due to space limitations and security constraints, attendance at the Forum is by invitation only. At this point, all tickets have been distributed or allocated for Messiah College students.
To maximize the number of Messiah students sharing in the excitement of this event, the College is also simulcasting The Compassion Forum for a live "watch party" for students. Unfortunately, due to the extensive staffing demands of the Forum, the College will be unable to accommodate "watch parties" for off-campus groups or organizations.
Others interested in hearing the candidates converse about compassion issues can watch The Compassion Forum live on television. CNN will serve as the exclusive broadcaster of The Compassion Forum and will televise and webstream it live from 8-9:30 p.m. on April 13.
Can I volunteer?
Due to campus accessibility constraints on April 13, Messiah plans to utilize its current students and employees to fulfill volunteer needs. The College's Compassion Forum planning team is working with Student Affairs and the President's Office to identify and request student and/or employee volunteers.
What is the format of the event?
Unlike a traditional political debate, The Compassion Forum invites the leading presidential candidates of both parties to individually engage in a conversation-style discussion with a moderator and panel of faith leaders about compassion issues such as poverty, climate change, and human rights. We are pleased that Jon Meacham, editor of "Newsweek," author of "American Gospel," and a respected scholar on the intersection of faith and politics, along with Campbell Brown, anchor of CNN's Election Center, will co-moderate the Forum.
Will access to campus be restricted on April 13?
The complete extent to which campus accessibility will be affected on April 13 is currently being determined by the College's planning team. Additional communication will be sent to students and employees regarding the accessibility of various parking lots and academic buildings on campus for the day of the event. To accommodate the parking needs of invited guests, a large contingent of national media, and the candidates and their staffs, we respectfully request that members of the surrounding community refrain from casual or leisure visits to campus on April 13.
Where can I watch the event?
CNN will serve as the exclusive broadcaster of The Compassion Forum and will televise and webstream it live from 8-9:30 p.m. on April 13.
The Church Communication Network (CCN) will also record the event and broadcast it to at least 1,000 congregations nationwide on April 20. CCN is a subscription-based service that broadcasts well-known Christian speakers and authors to subscribing congregations across the country.
What type of access will media have to The Compassion Forum?
Every journalist anticipating being on campus on April 13 will need to apply for credentials. The deadline for registering for credentials has been extended to April 11.