Obama’s visit to be reimbursed by president’s campaign

Hannah Kelling

The exact cost of what was widely deemed a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for students will somewhere between $5,000 to $6,000, according to Tom Euclide, associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Operations.

Following President Obama’s campaign speech Wednesday, the number crunching began in an effort to determine the cost required to bring Kent State University to the national political stage on that drizzling afternoon.

“We are still finalizing the numbers, but I feel confident I can report the costs will not exceed the original $6,000 estimate given by the Obama for America team,” Euclide wrote in an emailed statement. He added that OFA will completely reimburse the university for that cost.

“We do not yet have a total on the cost to the university to support the event, but the campaign’s contract did require the campaign to pay a fixed amount for some expenses,” said Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations.

An event of such national caliber raises multiple budgetary concerns, including security measures and media coverage.

“The U.S. Secret Service takes the lead on all security matters with regard to President Obama,” said Jessica Kershaw, the press secretary for the Obama for America campaign in Ohio, in a prepared statement. Mansfield clarified that the Secret Service does not reimburse for local security costs, but “the Secret Service and White House security teams were both here in mass at no cost to the University.”

Similarly, the media portion of the event required no additional expense, Mansfield said. Those individuals who covered the events from a media perspective were already scheduled to assist in media efforts that day.

However, although the price was as usual, the director seemed to applaud the media efforts as exceptional.

“The positive press of seeing ‘Kent State’ over and over again throughout the national media coverage was extremely powerful and successful,” Mansfield said.

Contact Hannah Kelling at [email protected].