Keeping up with the Kandidates: Ron Paulooza

Students await Ron Paul's arrival yesterday outside Ritchie Coliseum. TJ Root/For The Diamondback

The shirt I purchased for $15 had paid off. Not only was I in Ritchie Coliseum to see Ron Paul, but I was in the third row. If I had a good enough shot I could probably spit on Paul from where I was sitting.

The place was packed. People were looking around and waving their hands to get the attention of others that they knew. It took until 6:43 p.m. for people to start chanting. One guy, donning a brown Ron Paul sweater, was running up and down the center aisle leading the cheers.

He yelled, “Ron Paul revolution,” for the crowd to respond, “Legalize the Constitution.”

He screamed “President,” for the crowd to respond, “Paul.”

He began a lingering, simple chant, “End the Fed,” (referencing Paul’s belief that the Federal Reserve has to go).

The crowd was getting wild. They were stomping on the bleachers as if they were waiting for a kickoff in a football game. I could see Paul behind the glass doors in the back of Ritchie. First a student came out to introduce him.

I recognized this student. It was the tan, black-haired fellow who had gotten me to sign the petition to bring Ron Paul to campus who I wrote about in my first post. It was then I realized the petition I signed brought me to that moment right there. Everything had come full circle.

After the student thanked everyone who helped bring Paul to campus, he introduced the man himself. The crowd stood and roared, not even giving Paul a chance to speak.

Finally he said his first words, “Sounds to me like freedom is popular in Maryland.” The crowd roared again.

Paul referenced that this university had one of the highest, if not the highest most signatures to bring him to campus. The revolution had come to College Park.

Then Paul went about his platform. He trashed mandates, said that nobody on “the hill” reads the Constitution, criticized selective service and he referenced America’s “way too many unwinnable, undeclared wars.”

He spoke of hypocrisy — that America was being an aggressive nation in order to spread kindness.

It was the most serious I had ever seen him when he asked, “Why don’t we just mind our own business?” The crowd stood and went crazy. At that moment I got chills.

Using the collapse of the Soviet Union as an example, Paul put forth the notion that more can be achieved in peace than in war. He also talked about how the country should begin trading with Cuba.

The crowd was responsive the whole time: cheering when he made a stern point, booing when he made a reference to something that the crowd disliked and laughing when he cracked a joke. Eventually the audience broke into an “End the Fed” chant.

Paul responded, “That will be one of the first things on my agenda.”

The crowd went nuts, and Paul went into why he dislikes the Federal Reserve. He also talked about how he would repeal the Patriot Act with a bill that he would call the Restore the 4th Amendment Act.

Although the crowd loved him, for me, time dragged on as he spoke.

Finally, at 7:55, he mentioned delegates — the main reason his campaign has any hope. The crowd erupted in chants of “President Paul.” This was just about the end of his speech.

He stepped down from his podium and I participated in a rush to the front. I had my memo book out for an autograph, my camera out for a picture and my hand out for a shake. I wanted to cap my night of journalistic work with the man’s blessing.

All for naught, though, as he stopped shaking hands and signing things when he was about five people away from me. I did not leave Ritchie disappointed though. I saw the revolution first hand. I was on the trail.

Juan Cervantes is a junior history major and student blogger for The Diamondback

Campus Complainer: There are worse things than secondhand smoke

I was strolling along McKeldin Mall the other day between classes and plopped down in front of the library to talk on the phone. Outside of McKeldin is a popular spot to stop for a cigarette. Students and professors alike congregate just outside of its doors to literally blow off smoke before diving into the books.

As I sat, I noticed a common occurrence: Multiple passersby doing the loud, over exaggerated fake cough. It happened once and I paid no mind. Twice and my ears perked up. When it didn’t stop, I was shocked.

 

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Students and the City: Do the DaDa

For those who spent Spring Break on the couch, Fur Nightclub has just the right dosage of nightlife you have been craving.

Dada Life, a prominent Swedish duo in the world of electronic dance music, has been creating remixes as well as original house tracks since 2006. In 2010 they opened for Tiësto, the world’s most popular DJ after David Guetta, and in 2011 they performed at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. The two most recently performed at Ultra Music Festival last week in Miami.

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U.S. senator requests UMUC records following resignation

A U.S. senator has taken an interest in the controversy brewing at University of Maryland University College in recent weeks surrounding the resignation of President Susan Aldridge.

Aldridge’s resignation takes effect Saturday and Javier Miyares, UMUC senior vice president for institutional effectiveness will continue in his role as acting president. According to The Washington Post, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has asked University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan to release records on “enrollment and workplace practices” at UMUC.

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An insider’s guide to ‘Club McKeldin’

Let me start by saying McKeldin Library is great for a lot of reasons. It has coffee, computers, couches, books and pretty good Internet service. However, contrary to popular belief, the library is not a quiet place to study.

McKeldin is about as quiet as a dubstep rave — which might not be far from the truth considering it was turned into a “Club McKeldin” dance party late last year. I have hours of studying to do for my art theory class, so perhaps I should start working.

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