HOUSTON — Banners were still being hung on Texas Southern University's arena Wednesday advertising Thursday's third debate among Democratic presidential contenders.

“I think you get an opportunity to listen to the potential nominees of the Democratic side and know where they stand on important issues that affect the country," said TSU professor Chris Ulasi.

Ulasi heads up TSU’s radio, television and film department. He got a photo to commemorate the event which he said provides students valuable lessons in politics, journalism and TV production.

"Everything you dream of teaching them in the classroom, they’re realizing first-hand in the most practical sense of it,” Ulasi said.

Security is heightened all around the debate venue. There's a more visible police presence and temporary fencing went up to control access on what is normally an open campus.

"Shouldn’t be too much of a disturbance,” said nearby resident Quentin Dyer.

Dyer lives on one of the streets that will be closed or partially closed before, during and after the debate.

Houston Police tweeted a reminder about the closures and included a map of areas they encourage non-residents to avoid beginning at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

"We have parades and it kind of shuts down the streets from time to time," Dyer said. "So we’ll do what we have to.”

Most agree the lasting significance of the debate for TSU outweighs any temporary inconvenience.

Tickets for the debate are not available. However, TSU is hosting a watch party at the Granville Sawyer Auditorium on campus.