The University of Virginia declined a request from President Barack Obama's campaign for him to speak on the university's campus last week.
Instead, President Obama is speaking in Charlottesville today at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on the downtown mall.
This is the final stop o a two day college campaign tour, and follows visits in Iowa and Colorado on Tuesday.
A statement released by UVa Spokesperson Carol Wood said the visit would cause an “extraordinary disruption” to classes during the first week, as many classes had started on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the two venue options on campus — the Amphitheater or a small library plaza — would either require closing a major dining hall or canceling 186 classes.
UVa would also have to bear the full cost of security for the event.
Virginia Tech University spokesperson Larry Hincker said UVa's decision seemed logical.
“I can tell you that a presidential visit to a college campus makes a tremendous drain on staff resources and really can be disruptive to the college schedule,” Hincker said.
Hincker cited Virginia Tech's own experience with receiving First Lady Michelle Obama when she spoke at commencement ceremonies in May.
“There were about two dozen people, myself included, who spent the better part of that week working on that project,” Hincker said.
UVa has made similar declarations in the past. In 2004, then-UVa President John Casteen announced the university's football team would decline a bowl game invitation if it was scheduled during the week of final exams.
“Colleges have very good reasons for declining participation of individuals,” Hincker said. “Even if it's the president of the United States.”
Taylor Fortunato is a freshman business major at Tech, and an Obama supporter.
“I'd be disappointed; students would have had a first-hand ability to hear him speak,” Fortunato said.
However, Fortunato added that, as a freshman, she can understand the desire to get through the first week of classes without any major disruption.
“I would hope that if the president of the United States wanted to come speak at Tech, the faculty and everyone would consider that an honor,” said Young Democrats Co-President Liz Wenska.
Wenza also added that seeing a candidate speak in person is a good way to get a sense of how they conduct themselves, and to hear first-hand what their priorities are.
According to the campaign, Obama's college-town visits in swing states are meant to “discuss the choice for young voters in this election between two fundamentally different visions of how to grow the economy, in part by ensuring our future workers can afford to get a college degree.”
College-aged voters came out in large numbers to support Barack Obama during the 2008 election. According to a study done by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, an estimated 23 million voters between the ages of 18-29 voted in the 2008 election, 11 percent more than in 2000.
The study adds that 70 percent of those voters were college educated. According to the Pew Research Center, 66 percent of that youth vote cast a ballot for President Obama.
Doors open for the event at 1 p.m. Tickets are required for entry and can be picked up for free at distribution locations in Charlottesville.