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

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Miami Hurricanes are honoring their 1983 nation ...

With Jaquan Johnson still sidelined with a hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against Toledo, ...

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

The trailer for a documentary exploring the relationships between UM students and Holocaust survivor ...

New technology could help workplaces and schools identify violent intruders before they enter the do ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team will begin her fall campaign Thursday a ...

Through three games, Miami is No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss and the entire Hurricanes def ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to return to Cobb Stadium, where it will host No. 12 Duke ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

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.