NCSU students grab tickets for Obama visit
Posted January 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State University students lined up around Reynolds Coliseum on Monday for a chance at a ticket for President Barack Obama's visit to campus on Wednesday.
Obama is scheduled to speak on the economy at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center, on Varsity Drive across from Doak Field, at 1 p.m. Wednesday. He's also likely to touch on research going on at N.C. State and could preview some of the themes in his upcoming State of the Union address.
Students began lining up at 8 a.m. for the initial distribution of 375 tickets at 10 a.m., and all of the tickets were gone within 40 minutes. A second distribution of 125 tickets was held at 2 p.m. on Centennial Campus and was over within 10 minutes.
Sophomores Jasmine Garland and Tobi Holland spent most of the day in line. They missed out on the tickets in the morning, so they quickly headed over to the afternoon distribution line, where they were able to get tickets later in the day.
"We were, like, 400th in line (at Reynolds Coliseum)," Garland said. "We knew we weren't going to get tickets, so we came over (to Centennial Campus) at 10:45."
Halfway down the block, sophomores Callie Stephenson and Haley Privette spent most of the day in line as well, but they were shut out.
"I've like never seen a president in person. I've never gotten to be in government. So, it's exciting for me to be here, even just waiting in line," Stephenson said.
Privette said she's exploring other options to get to hear Obama speak.
"I posted on Facebook, 'Hey, I need a ticket. I'll pay you whatever,' trying to get one," she said.
The trip marks Obama's first visit to the Triangle since his 2012 re-election. His only visits to North Carolina since then were to the Charlotte and Asheville areas.
"I'm a future teacher, and I really want to see what he's going to do and what he plans on passing toward the next (president) to help the economy and help teachers get paid better," sophomore Bria Cofield said.
"How many people get the opportunity to meet the current president of the United States?" graduate student Laveita Clay said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said she won't accompany Obama to N.C. State, saying she needs to remain in Washington, D.C., because the Senate is in session this week.
The North Carolina Republican Party, which has attacked Hagan in the past for her support of Obama, especially his signature health care reform law, pounced on her decision to distance herself from the president.
“With her political career on the line, Kay Hagan is suddenly too embarrassed to be seen with President Obama in North Carolina,” GOP Chairman Claude Pope said in a statement. “North Carolinians know that, despite Kay Hagan’s efforts to hide from President Obama, she voted with his liberal agenda 96 percent of the time, enthusiastically endorsed him for re-election and has been one of the strongest supporters of the 'Obamacare' disaster.”