YSU honorary delegates see another side of the RNC

Kelly Motika and Sara Pretoka sit in a separate section of Quicken Loans Arena, but they get to see what the television networks might not show

Two YSU students, Kelly Motika and Sara Pretoka, were selected as honorary delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Each night, coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland shows the perspective of delegates on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena, but there are thousands of others who are also inside the Q.

That includes two Youngstown State students who were selected to attend as honorary delegates.

“It’s really interesting seeing the other side, like seeing the delegates, everybody down on the floor, what’s going on,” Sara Pretoka said.

She and Kelly Motika are among a number of local guests with access to the arena and all of the other events happening during the week.

“We’re just attending all the…events for the Ohio officials, that the actual delegates are able to go to as well,” Motika said.

Guests and alternate delegates sit in a separate section of the Q, but they get to see what the television networks might not show.

“The first day, having the ability for mothers that have grievances to be able to air them in front of the country,” said John Creed, the 13th district delegate from Ohio.

Guests got to witness Tuesday night’s nomination of Donald Trump and all of the action leading up to that. Some admit it wasn’t always easy to follow.

“It was really strange and I didn’t know what was going on for a while,” Motika said. “I just had to like, listen to what people were chanting and to really understand what was going on.”

What Motika and Pretoka didn’t see was controversy playing out though the media.

“We didn’t realize it until about the next day after because we don’t have a TV where we’re staying. We didn’t really catch it,” Pretoka said.

The students say that besides being able to watch history in the making, they’re also making some valuable contacts that they hope will help them after they graduate.

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