Vanderbilt to host 2006 “Meet the Candidates” community picnic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt University‘s “Meet the Candidates” community picnic on Oct. 6 is expected to be one of the area’s largest and most festive political gatherings prior to the Nov. 7 election. The picnic provides an excellent opportunity for Vanderbilt’s students, faculty and staff as well as the university’s neighbors, to learn more about the campaigns.

The candidates’ picnic will be held on Olin Lawn, located on 25th Avenue between Garland and Highland avenues. In the event of rain, the location will be moved to the Memorial Practice Gym.

In keeping with the tradition of old-fashioned politicking, all of the candidates on the ballot in Middle Tennessee – including those for the U.S. Senate, governor and area legislative races – have been invited to stand on a soapbox in Vanderbilt’s so-called “public square” and introduce themselves at the picnic, scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. Hot dogs, ice cream and soft drinks will be available, and a Dixieland jazz band will perform at the event.

“Voting is our most important obligation as citizens,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice chancellor for public affairs. “We encourage all members of the Vanderbilt community to attend this event so they can become better informed about the candidates and issues that will be on the ballot in just a few weeks.”

Candidates have been invited from the counties in which Vanderbilt’s more than 18,000 employees reside, including Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. They will be able to display or distribute literature and are encouraged to shake as many hands as possible.

Voter registration as well as maps to identify the various districts will be available at the picnic, which is sponsored by the Office of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations in the Division of Public Affairs.

Audio of the candidates’ remarks will be posted on VUCast (, the news and information site of Vanderbilt University.

Media contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS

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