That lame little media meme a week or so ago about the supposed "secret" visit to USC by former president George W. Bush proved of course to be — well, let's just say uninformed. But there is some unhappiness on campus that more students weren't invited to Tuesday's appearance by the ex-president and Laura Bush. But not a lot of unhappiness, apparently. Here are the basics from Neon Tommy, which calls it the couple's first joint speaking engagement since 2009:
A university representative said approximately 2,500 students received email invitations, the bulk of which were sent to Trustee, Presidential, Provost and other scholarship recipients. Some members of USC College Republicans, College Democrats and Political Student Assembly were also invited as well as some ROTC students and residential advisors. Only students who received invitations could RSVP, preventing the event from being open to the public.
Tuesday's event — the cost of which is unknown because it was covered by an anonymous donor — will take place in Bovard Auditorium, which has a capacity of 1,235 seats. Roughly 700 spots are reserved for students with the remaining spots being given to faculty, alumni and donors, according to the university representative.
USC freshman Kristen East, a Presidential scholar, received an invitation but wished the university was more public about the event and that the school clarified the purpose for the Bushes' appearance.
“I don’t want to choose to go only so I could tell people that I’ve heard President Bush speak,” East said. “I don’t want to go just because it’s a celebrity event. I want to go because I’m interested in what is being spoken about.”
The invitation East received simply identified the event as part of the President’s Distinguished Lecture series, describing it as a “memorable evening.”