The beginning of the school year brought more than just incoming freshman to Tampa. The Republican National Convention arrived at the same time.
The hype of the RNC had faculty at The University of Tampa planning for weeks. The safety of the students was their first priority, and they took several steps to insure that.
Jaclyn Francis, senior, says, “The school seemed to have a well thought out plan to keep us safe. They set up a system to keep things running as smoothly as possible. I didn’t run into many problems.”
In addition to campus security there was state troopers and other law enforcement seen around the school. The extra security was placed at campus entrances and buildings, but was not overwhelming.
Rachel Billhartz, senior, was not bothered by the extra guards. She says, “The school make it seem like we would be fully guarded. I was expecting gates and hundreds of police officers. On the first day of classes I only ran into one or two.”
To prevent any visitors, and problems the could potentially bring, the students were instructed to wear green lanyards while on campus to prove they were students. Security was to check for these lanyards when anyone was on campus, but some students went the entire week without placing it around their neck.
Brooke Maute had no trouble getting around on campus. She says, “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.”
Traveling to campus was another concern of the school. Several teachers moved their classes to online for the first week in fear of commuters being held up in traffic, but once again the RNC did not live up to its hype.
There was little to no traffic around the school at the time of the RNC. The cars were backed up pass the school when entering downtown.
The Republican National Convention made it’s home in Tampa for a week, but the University of Tampa did not allow it to ruin the flow of campus life. Students were able to experience history without ruining the start of a school year.