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19 February 2014

Clinton visit should spark interest

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Student tickets to see Hillary Clinton were still available as of Wednesday afternoon, despite the fact that they’ve been in distribution for more than two weeks. Clinton is easily the most influential guest to visit campus this academic year, so it seems hard to understand why there would not be enough students interested in seeing Clinton to make those tickets disappear.

But it’s not a new phenomenon for students to neglect taking advantage of guest speakers that visit UM. With the exception of the giants like President Barack Obama and Billy Joel, students display apathy toward attending guest lectures.

It is unrealistic to expect all students to attend the majority of lectures, but there are many who even pass over speakers in their fields of interest – individuals who can supply a wealth of knowledge about the experiences they’ve had.

This may not be a presidential election year, but Clinton is certainly a top contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016. And even without that, she is a remarkable woman worth seeing: a former Secretary of State, U.S. senator and First Lady. Students are not tapping into resources like these, but there is also a lack of emphasis and promotion on the university’s part.

Many seem under the impression that tickets have been unavailable since the first day they were distributed – based on the assumption that free tickets to see Barbara Walters’ most fascinating person of 2013 would be a hot commodity.

“Part of it was that it wasn’t advertised well enough,” a UM law student tweeted as part of our #HillaryVisitsUM online conversation.

Better communication from the university would’ve helped students understand not only what a remarkable guest we have coming, but also that they haven’t lost their chance.

Updates on ticket availability would have served in reinforcing reminders to keep students out of the dark.

At the same time, it isn’t that difficult for students themselves to stay in the loop about the event and ticket availability. All it takes is a moment to walk up to the UC ticket window and ask. Students should care enough to be able to find out whether tickets are left and resolve to attend Clinton’s speech.

While we appreciate the preparedness of the university – too many tickets is better than too few – it would be an embarrassing representation of the UM community for Clinton to see empty seats at her keynote event. That’s worse than our unfilled football stadium

And if tickets aren’t sold out by the day of the event, we hope that the university is ready to make accommodations to the venue that suit the smaller-sized audience since we can’t #PackTheBUC.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.