Students camp out to be first in line for Obama speech


Shane Flanigan

Kent State students Kevin Ball, Brandon Arroyo and Brittany Blose camp outside the M.A.C. Center Tuesday night to see President Obama speak on campus September 26. Ball, Arroyo and Blose were the first three in line to see the president. “I want to hear him get Kent State fired up to vote,” Arroyo said. Photo by Shane Flanigan.

Daniel Moore, Jon Jankowski

KentWired Video

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Update, Video by Jon Jankowski.

More than a dozen people have already gathered in front of the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center ahead of President Obama’s visit to Kent.

Kevin Ball, junior pre-nursing major, was officially the first to arrive Tuesday at 10:05 p.m.

Kylie Levin, freshman speech pathology major, and her friends Shantelle Watson, Shalie Winters and Paige Schlick munched on chips and buffalo dip and sipped Starbucks. All of them freshman, they said it’s an exciting election year.

“Our first time getting to vote, and we get to meet the president,” Levin said.

Erik Clarke, sophomore political science major, helped pitched a tent around 11:30. Sporting a shirt stamped “Democrat,” Clarke said his personal issues are the economy and veterans rights.

“The city of Kent owes Barack Obama,” he said. “If you want to see if the stimulus worked, go downtown.”

He added, however, that he has even more personal reasons for spending the night on the Esplanade.

“I want a picture with the president,” Clarke said “I want to shake his hand. I want to offer to buy him a beer.

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].