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Clinton coming to USF

Approximately 1,000 parking spots will be closed off today for the Hillary Clinton rally being held in the Campus Recreation Center. Temporary parking for students is available by Leroy Collins Blvd. ORACLE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will be hosting an event today in the Campus Recreation Center, her third appearance in Tampa.

The last-minute event is “expected to draw a large audience,” according to an email sent out to the student body and will result in the closure of Campus Rec for most of the day.

Additionally, parking lots 22A and 22D near the Sun Dome will be closed along with portions of Lot 6 while additional temporary parking for students will be available near Leroy Collins Blvd. 

According to USF Media and Public Affairs Manager Adam Freeman, approximately 1,000 parking spots will be blocked off for the event.

“There are about 20,000 parking spaces on campus, not including the temporary lots in place on Tuesday,” he said. “Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to park elsewhere on campus and use the free Bull Runner service, particularly if they usually park in the general area around the Campus Recreation Center or Sun Dome.”

All closures will reopen after the event ends.

“The blocked off areas are used for additional purposes, not just attendee parking,” Freeman said. “For example, these areas are used for law enforcement and media parking and to provide a perimeter for security.”

The USF Police Department (UP) will be assisting with security at the event, according Public Information Officer Renna Reddick.

While the event begins at 1:45 p.m., doors open at 11:45 a.m. Third-party merchandise sellers will be confined to the area immediately surrounding Campus Rec “in an effort to minimize disruption across the campus,” the email said.

This is the second time this year that a presidential candidate has held a rally on USF’s campus. In February republican nominee Donald Trump visited campus, drawing a record crowd at the Sun Dome.

Clinton is known for smaller, more intimate settings for her rallies, making Campus Rec a better fit. The Clinton campaign could not be reached for comment.

Unlike Trump’s visit, UP “doesn’t anticipate any problems and are not aware of any protest events.” There will also not be any designated protest areas.

Green Party nominee Jill Stein will be visiting campus on Sept. 28 at the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.