ASU police state for Obama's commencement talk

Say Heil Hitler to welcome Obama to ASU - Heil Obama!

The ASU police state for Obama's commencement talk

You need a government issued photo ID to get into a graduation? Yes we do live in a police state! - Bring your ASU identification or federal or state-issued I.D.

And yes we do live in a police state! The 2nd Amendment is NULL and VOID at Obama's ASU talk. You can't even have a stinking knife or even a Leatherman tool.

And get this "Foods that can be used as projectiles (oranges, apples, pears, etc.)." are forbidden!

Obama's ASU commencement talk may draw 63,000

by Dianna M. Náńez - May. 2, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

The crowd expected to attend Arizona State University's commencement to hear President Barack Obama's speech has swelled to 63,000 and appears to be the largest U.S. audience the president will have addressed since his inauguration.

A member of the White House communications staff said Friday that Obama has spoken before many crowds since the January ceremony that officially marked the start of his presidency, but none in the United States is thought to be larger than 2,000 to 3,000 people.

For some who only dreamed of attending the Washington, D.C., ceremony, ASU's commencement on May 13 has become the Western version of Inauguration Day. The much-coveted ASU tickets were reserved within hours after the commencement office made them available to a graduating class of more than 8,000 students and to faculty and staff.

On Friday, students began picking up tickets at the Valley's four ASU campuses.

Anne Schneider, an ASU political-science professor, said that the historic nature of Obama's presidency has heightened excitement about this rare event.

"To have a sitting president speak at your commencement is special. He's (also) the first African-American president," she said. "And because we are a long way from Washington, D.C., the opportunity to see the president is very limited.

"This is a special opportunity for students to share with their parents . . . and for ASU."

Although ASU made some tickets available for non-graduating students, Schneider said she knows of many who had hoped to attend but do not have a ticket.

Within days of the March 20 announcement that Obama would speak at the commencement, some students saw the frenzy surrounding the event as a chance to make a buck.

Sharon Keeler, an ASU spokesman, said university officials discussed the unexpected consequence of Obama's popularity.

"Our basic message to students was this is an academic event and for people to sell tickets was wrong," she said. "It also takes away the opportunity for someone connected with ASU to go."

ASU officials began contacting students who listed tickets for sale on the Internet. Most were understanding and removed their ads, she said.

Officials from, an Internet classified-ads Web site, also were accommodating. At ASU's request, they agreed to remove any commencement ads offering tickets for sale.

Keeler said it is OK to give a ticket away, but ASU has warned ticketholders that if ASU discovers a ticket is sold, the university will cancel that ticket. She acknowledged it would be difficult to find out if a student sold a ticket because no names are on the tickets.

"We can't police everyone," she said, "but we hope they do the right thing." Some students are begging, bargaining and still turning to the Internet for a chance to hear Obama. Graduating students were allowed up to six guest tickets.

Antonio Dominguez, 25, a biology and business major, posted an ad this week looking for a ticket.

Dominguez said that Obama's presidency has special meaning to him because it is inspiring to see a person of color elected to the nation's highest political office.

"It means a lot. It shows that people of minority background are able to climb the government ladder just through education alone," he said.

Obama also has drawn students and family members who had not planned to attend the commencement ceremony.

Erik Fink, who is graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism, said that he invited his parents, grandmother and brother.

Fink said he planned to attend only his smaller college ceremony, but when he heard Obama was the speaker, he changed his mind.

"It took me a good hour or so to get over the amazement. Once I got over the shock, I called my parents right away and said, 'It's no joke: The president is coming for my commencement.' "

His parents rearranged their plans and are traveling from California to attend the ceremony.

Fink said he had friends who were not graduating ask him for a ticket.

"I had extras, but I thought it really wouldn't be fair . . . trying to pick who would go," he said.

Debra Dudley was not sure until this week that she would be able attend the ceremony. She is coming as a guest of her sister, who is a professor at ASU.

Dudley's tight schedule requires her to drive from her Riverside, Calif., home and back on the same day. Still, she is bringing her son Kyle, 10, and said that she wouldn't miss it.

For Dudley, whose African-American father and English mother had to battle her father's military superiors for the right to marry in 1961, the election of Obama is a milestone in the civil-rights movement.

She said her parents faced a lifetime of racism. She is inspired by the doors Obama's presidency opens for her son.

"You say to your kids, 'You can be president,' " she said. "But having never had an African-American president, it was very exciting for my son to have that kind of role model."

Dudley told Kyle on Thursday night that they would hear Obama. For a boy who voted for Obama in a mock youth election, the news was thrilling.

When asked what he thought the "coolest" thing was about Obama's election, he had this to say.

"Really, it's pretty much like how Martin Luther King said there was going to be a Black president. And Barack Obama pretty much completed that (dream)," he said.

Commencement tips

Arrival: Non-graduate ticket holders for the May 13 address should be in line by 4:30 p.m.

Where: Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E Veterans Way, Tempe.

Pre-ceremony show: 5 p.m.

President Barack Obama's speech: 7 p.m.

• The ceremony is expected to end at 9:30 p.m.

What to know:

  • People with ticket reservations can pick up their tickets through May 8.
  • Bring your ASU identification or federal or state-issued I.D.
  • Everyone entering Sun Devil Stadium ages 3 and older must present a ticket.
  • Tickets cannot be replaced.
  • ASU is recommending people use public transportation.
  • Graduates must have their caps and gowns when entering the stadium.
  • Guests are not allowed on the field.
  • Anyone exiting the stadium after clearing security will not be allowed to re-enter.
  • For a full list of prohibited items and other commencement regulations, refer to the ASU Web site.
More information:


Prohibited Items List for Attendees April 30, 2009 - 6:28pm

  • Weapons of any kind, including but not limited to guns, ammunition or knives (regardless of size). Second Amendment is null and void
  • Leatherman or similar tools. Second Amendment is null and void
  • Sharp and/or pointed objects (scissors, knitting needles, box cutters, etc.). Second Amendment is null and void
  • UNOPENED PACKAGES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Fourth Amendment is null and void - If we can't search it, you can't bring it
  • Mace or pepper spray. Second Amendment is null and void
  • Spray containers, aerosols, flammable liquids.
  • Air horns.
  • Explosives or fireworks. Second Amendment is null and void
  • Laser lights or pointers.
  • Containers of any type—glass bottles (perfume, drink bottles, etc.), cans or thermoses.
  • Foods that can be used as projectiles (oranges, apples, pears, etc.).
  • Alcohol of any kind.
  • Signs, banners or posters. First Amendment is null and void
  • Balloons.
  • Coolers, grocery bags, tote bags or duffel bags.
  • Backpacks purses larger than 12”x12”x12”.
  • Poles or tripods.
  • Golf umbrellas.
  • Metal objects.

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