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The Blue & Gray Press | May 21, 2018

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Michelle Obama to Campaign at UMW Thursday

Michelle Obama to Campaign at UMW Thursday

By ALISON THOET, COLLEEN HUBER and ALEX VAN BEEK

Students lined up Tuesday morning from Lee Hall to Seacobeck Dining Hall for the chance to see First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech on Thursday.

Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the event is open to the public.  Tickets are required for entry to the event and were given out on a first-come, first-serve basis outside of Lee Hall near Ball Circle.  Additional tickets were passed out at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

The release states that tickets do not guarantee admission.

According to the Obama for America press office, Michelle Obama will discuss “what’s at stake in this election for Virginians and encourage them to help organize their communities between now and November.”

Hannah Mason, a junior psychology and English double major, is enthusiastic about the speech.
“I think it’s exciting because this is going to be the first presidential election I can vote in and I am going to be involved in history,” said Mason.  “[Michelle Obama] is a real role model, not just a celebrity.”

The University warned that those who are admitted to the event should anticipate airport-like security and that additional security measures will be in place on campus.  Cameras are permitted at the event, but ticket-holders are encouraged to bring as few items as possible.

According to an email from university relations, the University will take several steps to minimize any disruptions on campus.

Additionally, the email states that the Anderson Center parking lot will be closed starting midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 12 until 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13. The Eagle Landing Balcony will also be closed on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Eagle Village will have a designated parking area for visitors, and the top floor of the Alvey parking deck will be handicapped parking only from midnight Wednesday, Sept. 12 until Thursday at 6 p.m. The Jepson parking lot will also be designated for handicapped drop-off, although the lot will still be open during the day for faculty and staff, according to the email.

Emily Oresick, a junior biology major has a different point of view about the event.

“They are taking away people’s parking which I don’t think is right,” said Oresick.

President of the Young Democrats, Ally Blanck, a senior political science major, said, “The Young Democrats are very excited to have Michelle Obama come and speak, and [we] are looking forward to the event.”

College Republicans Chairman Elizabeth Brennan, a senior English major, said, “We think it’s great that the Mary Washington community is being noticed in national politics, and we hope that students at UMW become more politically engaged on both sides.”

Originally, Michelle Obama was scheduled to visit UMW in July.  However, her visit was cancelled after the shooting in Aurora, Co.