The Republican National Convention, which was held just around the corner from the University of Tampa, had very little affect on its students.
The University of Tampa administration had heavily prepared for the Republican National Convention. Their biggest concern was the safety of their students. Students were required to wear a bright colored lanyard with their student ID attached at all times. Anyone who did not have their identification on them would not be allowed on campus. Campus security and Tampa Police were on campus enforcing this rule.
With thousands of extra people situated in the downtown Tampa area, traffic was expected to become a big issue. Commuter students were preparing to plan their schedule around traveling time. The traffic created from the Republican National Convention turned out to be bearable. Many teachers unexpectedly did not cancel class.
“I feel the RNC was a bit hyped up. I have a lot of friends who were afraid to commute to school because they pictured some huge event that was going to prevent everyone from getting anywhere,” stated Danny Venter.
Security and law enforcement was everywhere during the RNC week. Some students felt more distracted by it than protected. “With all the police and helicopters around it is hard to focus with all that noise,” Dejon Prade said.
The University of Tampa staffed every entrance on campus with law enforcement as well as some individuals patrolling around campus. “The police all over campus has been pretty intimidating,” explained Lisa Aquilino. Police were even spotted in Plant Park along side their horses.
Even though political history was happening just across the Hillsborough River, very few students ventured over. Even Republican students had no urge to experience the convention.
Sydney Booth, a republican and junior at the University of Tampa, remained on campus. She confessed that she had watched some speeches and read updates regarding the Republican National Convention but never attended in person.
August 27 to August 30 was expected to be a hectic week for the University of Tampa. Surprisingly, students felt that the Republican National Convention did not impact them.