Scott Eckers, a doctoral student at Hofstra University, was holding a Move Forward Obama campaign poster in one hand while he held open a thick textbook on adolescent psychology.
"I have an assignment due tomorrow," said Eckers, 32, of East Meadow.
He said he came to campus to watch the presidential debate Tuesday night to be part of all the buzz around campus, and just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, he stood in line with hundreds of other students waiting to get into the student center dining hall watch party.
He said he's going into the debate interested in what both candidates have to say, but he plans to vote for President Barack Obama.
"I can't fathom voting for Mitt Romney," he said. "His values for America don't match my values for America."
He said he was happy with Obama's ability to improve the world view of the United States and would like to see what else he can do in the next four years.
Eckers, a social studies teacher at Harry B. Thompson Middle School in Syosset, said he would like to see the candidates address issues in education.
"What would they do to support public education?" he said. "That's what I would ask them."