Kevorkian tickets nearly gone


Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 4:36 p.m.

Tickets to Dr. Jack Kevorkian's lecture at the University of Florida

tonight are nearly gone, in large part due to a decision to limit seating

for security purposes.

About 4,500 of the free tickets have been collected, and the remaining 500

will be available at the O'Connell Center starting at 6:30 p.m., according

to organizers. The show begins at 8 p.m.

UF's basketball arena seats 12,000, but university officials decided to

reduce the seating by more than half to help ensure adequate security.

The appearance by Kevorkian, a controversial advocate of physician-assisted

suicide, has drawn the ire of anti-abortion groups who oppose his views on

euthanasia.

Kevorkian's visit comes on the heels of two events where UF's security

response has been criticized. At a September forum with U.S. Sen. John

Kerry, D-Mass., police Tasered an unruly student who refused to be escorted

from the University Auditorium. Weeks later, several students stormed the

stage during former U.S. Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales' speech, which was

constantly interrupted by hecklers.

Kevorkian's visit is sponsored by Accent, a student-run speakers' bureau

that paid him $50,000 derived from student fees. Steven Blank, chairman of

Accent, said he was hopeful no one who wanted to see Kevorkian would miss

it because of the seating restrictions.

"People knew the tickets were available, and hopefully we won't have to

turn them away," Blank said.

Audience members should expect other added security protocols tonight,

including the use of metal detectors at the door. Metal detectors aren't

always used at O'Connell Center events, but it's not unprecedented to have

them at the venue, according to UF Police.

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