In addition to preparing for life away from home, students at UT also had to deal with a national convention just a few blocks away during the first week of school. From heightened security, to lack of sleep and a mandatory addition to the dress code (the dreaded neon green lanyard), students spent the week ranging in opinions about the RNC.
When asked about the convention, freshman Zach Warfel expressed, “I think the RNC would be a great way to get involved in the Tampa community for the people that want to. I choose to just stay away from it as much as I can because I still feel like I need to acclimate to school and the area. I haven’t really been affected by other than seeing extra security around school.”
Fellow freshman Justin Zwecker, however, said “I think that the RNC is very cool and interesting” but he continued with, “The RNC has been affecting my sleep because I am living in McKay hall and every night there is a party across the river with extremely loud and annoying music that has been interrupting my sleep for the last two nights.”
Trevor Igoe, an intern at MSNBC for the RNC, had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the inner workings of the event. When asked what it’s like interning, he said, “It’s actually really cool. I’m very into politics so it’s just cool to see how everything goes down with the actual convention.” He was also asked about the people he met and he spilled, “I’ve seen some famous reporters which has been awesome. Everyone is really nice and willing to take pictures surprisingly! The RNC has seriously been a great time and experience.”
When it came to the bright green lanyards that students and staff were required to wear to show identification, students had their own personal encounters with the new rule. Senior Brooke Maute stated, “Getting on campus one day was a hassle. I live off campus and realized I didn’t have my school ID half way there. I had to turn around because I was worried they wouldn’t let me on campus.” Also when asked if she had any other problems with the I.D.’s, she said, ““There were cops in front on the buildings asking for them before we went in. But, if I wanted to I could have gotten in anyway. They didn’t seem to be guarding the buildings strictly. If there was a group of people you could have passed right by.”
Although coming to a new school, and even a new state, can be worrisome, students have the rest of the year to keep themselves busy and focused by making new friends, exploring the city and continue to make great memories.