Lions Make Their Mark at the Republican National Convention

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Earlier this year three Saint Leo University student-athletes, Katie David (swimming), Eric Dirth (cross country), and Nicole Sirota-Plotnikov (lacrosse), were selected as scholarship recipients to participate in the 2012 Republican National Convention. With the start of the event scheduled for Monday, August 27, the trio is now giving Saint Leo University and inside look at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and all of its happenings as it hosts one of the nation’s largest events.

Coordinated by the Washington Center, a nonprofit educational organization, the three student-athletes will spend two weeks at the seminar amongst the ‘who’s-who’ of the political world as they learn how to interact with the national media, learn from political elites, and begin shaping their own political vocations.

Still, with as much responsibility the trio has been tasked with, the group has still found time to give the Saint Leo University community a glimpse of all the behind-the-scenes action of next week’s RNC with an online blog complete with pictures.  Sharing the blog space, each student-athlete will be updating the site over the coming days.

In addition, one of the students will also travel on to Charlotte, NC, for a similar program at the Democratic National Convention. Saint Leo University is nonpartisan and is supporting student attendance for the unique learning opportunities.

View the group’s day-by-day blog here, and make be sure to interact with them as they begin shaping their professional careers.

RNC Fun Facts: 

  • With approximately 13,000 – 15,000 members of the media in attendance, the RNC is the single largest media event in the world except for the Olympic Games.
  • The Host Committee has more than 15,000 hotel rooms booked for each night of the Convention and more than 75 event venues under contract.
  • The direct spending impact for the Convention will total approximately $175 – $200 million.  This does not take into account the economic “multiplier” effect which can equate to 2.5 times the actual amount of hard dollars spent.
  • The amount of electricity, cabling and fiber connectively will likely be the most ever utilized for any event in the state of Florida.
  • The last time a Presidential Nominating Convention was held in Florida was 1972. In that year, both the Republican and Democrat National Committees held their Presidential Nominating Conventions in Miami Beach, Florida.
  • Approximately 350 full-size charter buses and more than 500 private vehicles will be utilized during the week of the Convention.
  • The largest lighting assembly ever hung for any event in the world was at the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, Texas.
  • In excess of 7,500 volunteers will be activated and deployed to assist during the week of the Convention.
  • The Convention is designated by the Department of Homeland Security as one of only four National Special Security Events (NSSE) to be held in 2012; other examples of potential NSSE events include G-8/G-20 Summits and the World Bank/IMF meetings.

A short interview of the three can be found below.