(Written by Danae King, Staff Writer for The Courier. Story originally published July 18, 2016.)
Joining the legions of reporters from across the country who will cover the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week will be some University of Findlay student journalists and faculty members.
Sarah Stubbs, a senior and editor of The Pulse student newspaper at the university, is attending the convention to live Tweet and Instagram today and Thursday. She will be accompanied by reporter Heidi Paxson, a sophomore who will contribute multimedia coverage, and UF Productions President Steve Mathie, a junior who will shoot video.
“I really have no idea what to expect,” said Stubbs, 21. “It’s pretty exciting… it will be interesting to see how the mainstream media operates at an event like this.”
Those interested can check out the University of Findlay’s Instagram on Thursday, can also follow #UFRNC, and check out UFTV Production’s YouTube channel for video coverage.
Stubbs will also put a story up late this week on the Pulse’s website, www.pulse.findlay.edu.
A.J. du Fresne, manager of UFTV, the campus TV station produced by students, came up with the idea to take students to the convention.
“Cleveland’s kind of in our own backyard,” he said. “It’s a good way for students to get experience at a broad national level.”
Once du Fresne found some students who had stayed in town over the summer and who wanted to attend the convention, he asked some faculty members as well. Attending the convention will be Ron Tulley, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Christopher Medjeski, assistant professor of communication; and political science major and sophomore Ashley Summerfield, who will represent the University of Findlay College Republicans group.
The seven people going will share three press passes to get into the convention, du Fresne said.
Tulley is attending to observe, be an ambassador for the university and a resource for the students, he said. He also plans to bring some of his observations back to his rhetoric students in the fall.
“It’s an interesting year in both national parties. I certainly expect there to be a lot of sensationalism around Donald Trump,” Tulley said. “it will be interesting to see how that unfolds. I think it’s going to be an amazing media event for our students.”
The convention is just the start of the students’ education on the election, du Fresne said, though they won’t be attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as it is too far away and the logistics won’t work out for the students, who have summer jobs.
At the beginning of the fall semester, there will be several student-run forums on the presidential election. Student media organizations will provide coverage of them and of a mock election on oct. 31.
Stubbs is excited to attend the convention, as she has an interest in reporting on politics and educating the public about political issues.
“I think politics are important and a lot of times communities are uninformed about them and people don’t know their vote counts,” she said.
She has no idea what to expect at the convention, but is most excited to see the passion that attendees and protesters exhibit.
“From day to day, we don’t see all that passion,” Stubbs said.
She never thought she’d get to go to a convention during her time at the university, but is excited for the opportunity.
“It’s a crazy election year,” du Fresne said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for everybody… There’s a lot of excitement in Cleveland this year.”
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