While Lindenwood prepares for the visit of Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul on Saturday, the security department will be working behind the scenes to make sure everything goes according to plan.

With the event open to the public and Ron Paul such a prominent figure, Director of Security Kurt Smith said he expects a large crowd.

“Parking can be limited, especially with students still being here,” Smith said. “The biggest challenge will be making sure the guests can come in safely and find a place to park.”

Smith said he has been working with Lindenwood Student Government (LSGA) President Dan Bedell to find volunteers who are willing to help direct traffic. In addition to student volunteers, St. Charles police officers will be on the scene.

“Lindenwood has hired six off-duty officers to coordinate with their personnel,” Lieutenant David Senter of the St. Charles police department said.

Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate without Secret Service protection. Republican Newt Gingrich just recently acquired protection on Wednesday. According to secretservice.gov, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is responsible for determining what candidates receive Secret Service. She must consult with an advisory committee made up of the speaker of the house, the house majority whip, the senate majority leader, the senate minority leader, and one additional member chosen by the committee.

The committee has not declared Ron Paul a “major candidate.” This decision could possibly be a result of Ron Paul’s not winning any state primaries in 2012.

LU security and the St. Charles police department have plans in place to ensure a safe environment. Officers will be standing by at the entrances to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

“We’re making sure [Congressman] Paul can get in safely and get out afterward,” Smith said.

The political system can cause heated debates and the arrival of a controversial politician can sometimes draw protestors to the scene. Smith said he doesn’t expect any to come out, but is still prepared just in case.

“Ideally we will find a staging area for them away from the entrances where they won’t interfere with anything, but will still be able to exercise their First Amendment rights,” he said.

Anyone who is disruptive during the speech will be escorted out of the building.

Ron Paul will be speaking at 3 p.m. this Saturday. The doors to the Hyland Arena will open to Lindenwood students at 2 p.m. and general admittance will begin at 2:20.

The congressman’s arrival is likely to draw people from the area as well as attract the attention of the media. Smith believes the security team and volunteers will keep things running smoothly.

“We should have plenty of people to get everything coordinated,” he said.

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