By Sonny Billotte
With the Republican National Convention in Tampa taking place the same week classes started at the University of Tampa, students had both good and bad opinions about their personal experiences with the convention and its effects on their day to day life.
A reoccurring complaint from many of the students was the inconvenience of driving on and off campus while the convention was going on, especially for commuters. “For people who are commuting, it’s taking hours,” said UT Senior Chanelle Cox. “Finding parking on campus then becomes an even bigger issue.”
The green lanyards students were required to wear around campus during the week of the convention seemed to be a hassle according to many. “It’s annoying to have to remember to wear the lanyard anytime you go anywhere on campus”, said Junior Fedra Cortines.
Classes were also affected as a result of the convention; some professors chose to cancel classes for the first week and many used the RNC for assignment topics. “My Media Relations professor is using the RNC as a topic for assignments; discussing how the media portrays the RNC based on looking at different news sources.”
While some students felt that the police officers around campus were intimidating, others were surprised at how little security there seemed to be. “The school made it seem like we would be fully guarded. I was expecting gates and hundreds of police officers,” said Senior Rachel Billhartz. She did, however, feel safe knowing there was tons of law enforcement just downtown.
A large portion of the students at UT can agree that it has been a very interesting to be able to have the RNC here in Tampa. Danny Venter, a senior at the university said “It’s definitely a cool experience for everyone that lives in Tampa and for all the students at the University of Tampa. It’s not something everyone gets to see.”
It also gave those students who were not particularly knowledgeable about politics a chance to see first-hand just how important these issues are to our country. “The RNC gave me the chance to learn more about current issues our country is facing and it forces me to pay more attention to the election,” said senior Danielle Konefal, who admitted that she was not very politically aware.
Although the RNC did prove to create some inconveniences for the students at UT during their first week back to school, being able to have experienced such an historical event so close to their university is a very memorable opportunity.