News

Swarm of men in black is just a preview

Anyone who attended the John Kerry rally could tell that the security surrounding the event was intense. However, Secret Service agents claimed that this was nothing compared to the security that will be in place for the Presidential debate being held on campus in the fall.

That may be hard to believe, considering the security measures that were taken for the senator’s visit Sunday.

State of the art metal detectors were installed at the two entry points near the Rock, and each person – in the long lines that formed over two hours before the event – at least had his or her bag thoroughly searched before entering the area.

In addition to the Secret Service agents permeating the premises, the Miami-Dade Police could be seen in full force, and a thorough bomb inspection by the Miami-Dade Bomb Squad was conducted shortly before Kerry’s performance.

Kerry stayed in the Rat while the inspection took place.

Squad members went through all of the offices in the UC, paying particular attention to those that overlooked the Rock. Canine units sniffed for explosives, and Secret Service agents aided in the search through piles of merchandise in the UM bookstore. After locking up the chlorine tank by the UC pool, they conducted an extensive search of the roof.

Agents could be seen from the UC balconies facing the Rock before, during and after the event.

The UC was closed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but hours after the speech ended, an area extending from the Law School to the School of Music to the Richter Library was still cordoned off with yellow police tape.

Secret Service agents could be seen patrolling the campus until late into the afternoon, and employees of the Department of Student Activities and Leadership Programs were called – along with College Democrats members and other volunteers – to assist with crowd control.

“I think that it was a great crowd,” said Renee Callan, director of the Department of Student Activites and Leadership Programs. “More showed up than I expected.”

There were no major security issues during the event, aside from some aggressive Kerry fans and derogatory actions toward the few picketers at the rally.

One incident occurred with a spectator holding a Bush-Cheney sign outside the perimeter of the Rock before the speech took place. Another spectator grabbed the sign, and several others began making pro-Kerry remarks. The man replied with calls of “free speech,” at which point a SS agent appeared out of nowhere and told the harassers, “You have two seconds to leave this kid alone.”

Despite the minor incidents, organizers said that the day went smoothly.

“I didn’t hear about any problems happening, even with people who didn’t necessarily agree with Sen. Kerry’s viewpoints,” said Cynthia Chapel, assistant director of the Department of Student Activities and Leadership Programs.

Jillian Bandes can be contacted at j.bandes@umiami.edu.

April 20, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Boston College star Ky Bowman came down with a 102-degree fever on Saturday night. Jordan Chatman an ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Sunday: ▪ New UM defensive coordinator Blake Baker has asked UM ...

Emese Hof and No. 20 Miami think they can play with anyone, and it shows. Hof scored 18 of her 25 po ...

New University of Miami baseball head coach Gino DiMare wanted to start strong. He got perfection. T ...

Former University of Miami star running back Mark Walton was arrested late Friday on a charge of mis ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

Happiness and well-being scholar Tal Ben-Shahar is UM’s newest Distinguished Presidential Scholar. ...

The University of Miami will host the first symposium to explore LGBTQ human rights across the Ameri ...

UM experts react to a new ban that prohibits people in Key West from using certain types of sunscree ...

A matchmaker extraordinaire, Ricardo Cepeda, the manager of the UM Zebrafish Facility, is passionate ...

The No. 20 Miami women's basketball team stormed back from a 14-point deficit to pick up the bi ...

Brian Van Belle struck out five over six shutout innings to help the Canes sweep Rutgers on opening ...

The Hurricanes dropped a tight contest with the Eagles in Chestnut Hill, 64-57. ...

The sophomore first baseman slugged his second homer of the weekend to lead the Canes to a series wi ...

Junior Renate Grimstad led the way for Miami and is tied for 18th at one-over-par, while sophomore K ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.