February 5, 2012 | 1:23 p.m.
By the Office of Communications and Marketing
Thanks to the work of three Bethel University students, congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul spoke to a standing room only crowd at Bethel on Saturday evening. The event attracted students and Paul supporters in addition to local and national media with live streaming on CNN.
Paul, who spoke earlier on Saturday in Chanhassen, Minn., arrived on Bethel’s campus around 4:30 p.m. to a growing crowd that had already filled most of the campus parking spots. Doors opened at 4:45 p.m. and soon after 5 p.m., the 1,600-seat Benson Great Hall was at full capacity.
Several hundred hopeful event-goers were turned away by campus security and local traffic control officers, who reminded the Paul supporters of his next Twin Cities appearance on Monday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
It was a successful event for Bethel students Andrew Baker, Mike Thompson, and Grant Erickson, who lead the Bethel chapter of College Republicans and hosted the event. “We were expecting 800-1,000, but when they were turning away people it was amazing,” said Baker.
For these students, it was more than just an education in Paul’s politics. According to Baker, “I learned how much work it takes to make an event like this successful, how many people are involved, and how great those people are at their jobs. I also learned about how contracts work and the responsibilities of the club and the campaign.”
Still in shock at the success of their event, Baker added, “I’ll remember this night for the rest of my life.”