CHARLOTTE, N.C. – More than 100 students from 11 South Carolina colleges are taking advantage of having a political convention just next door by getting an up-close education at how they work.

One of their first big impressions is how much security is involved. This morning’s lectures took place inside a Methodist church not far from all the barricades.

Their crash course, being led by Winthrop University and the John C. West Forum, began Friday with on campus talks about what’s involved with the logistics, from hosting to financing to arranging all the logistics.

The idea for the course took root with a flurry of emails just 15 minutes after Democrats announced they would hold their convention here this year, said Karen Kedrowski, head of Winthrop’s political science department.

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“Our goal is to give them an opportunity to learn about the convention, this unique American political ritual, as much as they possibly can,” she said.

Winthrop’s campus is in Rock Hill, a town only 25 miles from downtown Charlotte and one that’s gradually becoming one of the Queen City’s communities.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.