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Thursday, August 11, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Giuliani to Speak at UB Next Fall


Rudolph Giuliani, former New York City mayor and Time magazine's "Man of the Year" for 2001, has agreed to lecture at UB as the 2002-2003 Distinguished Speaker Series "Student Choice" speaker Wednesday, Nov. 13 in Alumni Arena.

William Regan, UB director of conferences and special events, said the mayor selected UB as one of three universities he would speak at over the next year out of a list of over 40 who made requests. UB was able to obtain Giuliani because of the university's status as the "flagship of SUNY" and the volunteer firefighters sent to NYC from Buffalo following Sept. 11, according to Regan.

Regan said the university has a "very solid connection" with Giuliani's agent, the Washington Bureau Agency, which "tends to have most of the political heavyweights." In addition, UB has a very good reputation for generating large turnouts for speakers and meeting their fee demands.

"[Giuliani] is great in terms of headline-quality speakers," said Regan. "Clearly the experience of Sept. 11 propelled him to international celebrity status. . He's got a story and he's got leadership skills the world was made aware of."

The Student Association, the series' main sponsor, began working with the administration to bring Giuliani to campus several months ago after Regan asked for input on who would be the ideal student choice speaker. SA President Christian Oliver said that "without a doubt" the mayor-turned-hero was the obvious choice.

"Giuliani was an inspiration for many Americans and the man of the year," said Oliver.

Unlike the selection of former president Bill Clinton, which erupted into controversy after The Buffalo News published reports of the university's denial of Clinton as a speaker due to possible controversy, Oliver described bringing Giuliani to campus as a "collaborative effort" between SA and the administration.

"There was a situation where we were at odds with SA," said Regan. "This year, we are pleased to have that turn in our favor."

According to Oliver, inviting Giuliani, a Republican, to speak at UB in contrast with Clinton, a Democrat, shows SA does not favor one political party over another.

"We're bipartisan in speaker choices," said Oliver. "We want the most popular speakers who have the best things to say."

Although students were given first crack at Clinton tickets this year, Regan said tickets for Giuliani's speech will be made available to students, faculty and the public simultaneously. While tickets will be free to students, faculty and members of the general public will pay for tickets to recoup some of the expenses and "effectively [meet] demands to satisfy our sponsors," which include the University Bookstore and WBFO.

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Regan was confident that interest in the event would be high, due to the large percentage of UB students from New York City and the metropolitan area (one-third of UB's total population), and the impact of the events of Sept. 11 on the entire country.

"Everyone knows someone involved in that tragedy," said Regan.

Regan added that no official contract has been signed as of yet, but that it is simply a "matter of formality" and the university has received a commitment from the mayor to proceed "full speed ahead."




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