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University taking precautions for Tuesday Trump rally in downtown Phoenix

The rally will potentially draw thousands of protesters

trump rally.jpg

Donald Trump speaks during his campaign stop at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. 

Update: The University has emailed a statement to students outlining security measures being taken at the downtown campus, including Mercado classroom changes, street closures and increased guidance of traffic by ASU personnel on campus.

Update: ASU Parking and Transit Services has announced a rerouting of Mercado-bound Shuttles via Twitter. The ASU School of Social Work tweeted that classes scheduled after 3 p.m. in the Mercado Building will be moved to classrooms in other buildings on the downtown campus.

University officials will take "proper precautions" to ensure student and faculty safety during President Donald Trump's rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, according to a statement. 

The rally will be held in the Phoenix Convention Center, just four blocks away from ASU's downtown Phoenix campus. 

The statement did not describe those precautions, but said the city has "been actively engaged in planning for the visit with our local, county, state and federal partners.”

The president's rally comes on the heels of violence at a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week that highlighted the deep political and personal divides gripping the nation's psyche. Trump has also toyed with the idea of pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Trump booster and controversial former Maricopa County lawman who was convicted of criminal contempt of court earlier in July.

Randy Perez, a public policy and political science senior who has organized least a dozen campus protests in the past said he is confident in the ability of campus police to protect ASU students, but that it’s in "anyone’s best interest" to refrain from protesting on Tuesday.

“I’m confident that they will use every resource (they have) to keep people safe, but there is simply no way to guarantee anyone’s safety,” Perez said.

City of Phoenix officials echoed plans for extra safety measures in the area surrounding the convention center in a Monday press conference. 

“I am fully confident that we have the right team in place to make that happen," Mayor Greg Stanton said, flanked by local law enforcement leaders. "I want everyone to know that the city of Phoenix is taking all precautions to keep everyone — from people attending President Trump’s campaign rally to those expressing their First Amendment rights outside the convention center and those conducting their normal business downtown — as safe as possible before, during and after the event tomorrow night.”

There are multiple pro- and anti-Trump demonstrations planned in response to tomorrow’s rally, and one of the largest protests has an expected attendance of over 3,700 people.

“Tuesday will be a difficult and trying day for our city and for our law enforcement professionals whose job it is to keep everyone safe,” Stanton, who has been unequivocal in his condemnation of the rally, said.

He expressed his concerns about the timing and location of Trump’s rally in a column for the Washington Post, and told a meeting of ASU Young Democrats that "now ain't the right time" for the rally. 

Judah Waxelbaum, a political science freshman who helped campaign for the president with the Arizona GOP, disagreed with the mayor's request that the President delay his visit.

“I think if the president wants to come to your city, you should welcome him with open arms,” said Waxelbaum, who plans on attending the rally with family.

He urged his friends and fellow students to express their First Amendment rights, but not to provoke the other side.

But the president's appearance alone could be inherently inflammatory, Stanton said.

"You're putting people's safety at risk," he said.

Editor's note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reach the reporters at and or follow @niceledes and @BrookeHanrahan1 on Twitter.

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