The RNC Proves a Burden to University of Tampa Students.

By: Paola Crespo

The 2012 Republican National Convention, located in Tampa, Fla. from Aug. 27 to 30, caused several inconveniences for students of The University of Tampa.

To ensure the safety of the students during the convention, police officers and extra security were placed on campus. However, not everyone felt secure with them around.

Chris, a junior at UT, stated, “Having all of the security on campus doesn’t make me feel safer. In fact, I have more anxiety. The police aren’t even friendly… only to girls. They should have more respect.”

Lisa Aquilino, sophomore, agreed saying, “The police all over campus have been pretty intimidating.”

As an extra precaution, students were required to wear neon green lanyards containing their student IDs in order to be easily identifiable to security. This was greeted with displeasure by sophomore Eve Haydt. “I hate them,” she said. “They’re ugly and they ruin your outfit.”

Cassandra Marshall, biochemistry major and sophomore, was concerned with the accuracy of the lanyards and the means of enforcing the regulation. “We can’t really identify who goes here. They can always make fake IDs,” she said.

Jaclyn Francis, senior, reaffirmed Marshall’s concerns by saying,“I didn’t wear [my lanyard] the entire week and never had a problem.”

As a result of the thousands of people that visited Tampa for the convention, and the fact that various bridges were closed for security purposes, traffic worsened in the city.

Senior Jennifer Fink’s classes were all cancelled due to the RNC, but she still had work at the Vaughn center as a front desk assistant. As a commuter, this proved difficult because of the traffic. “It took me an hour to drive here for work on North Blvd. from Bayshore,” she said. “I’ve had to leave earlier from home to get here on time.”

While classes were cancelled for some, other professors decided to continue as usual. Consequently, the traffic in the city delayed UT commuting students’ arrivals to campus for their classes.

Chanelle Cox, senior in the nursing program, thought that this was a bad call from the faculty. “Teachers should definitely have taken further consideration to their students who may be commuting. That was just neglected,” she said.

In addition to the extra traffic and security, the RNC also affected UT students’ comforts on campus, specifically their sleep.

Justin Zwecker lives in McKay hall, situated by the Hillsborough River. Across the river in downtown Tampa, various RNC evening events took place. Zwecker said that this bothered him because “every night there [was] a party across the river with extremely loud and annoying music” that had interrupted his sleep for two nights in a row. This lack of sleep affected his performance in classes because he did not receive the required amount of rest he needed.

Although the RNC being in Tampa posed more of a nuisance than a privilege, UT students only had to deal with its issues for a week. Now with the RNC over, students can return to daily college life.

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