UVA declines Obama campaign speaking request

Posted at 7:15 AM, Aug 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-25 07:15:31-04

By Dana Davidsen, CNN

(CNN) – The University of Virginia declined a request by President Barack Obama’s campaign to hold a speaking event at the university while campaigning in Charlottesville Wednesday, according to CNN affiliate WVIR.

According to a statement by UVA spokeswoman Carol Wood obtained by the Charlottesville station, the university denied the request to use either the McIntire Amphitheater or the Harrison-Small Library plaza because the use of the locations would require closing buildings surround the site for the entire day, causing disruption to class schedules.

To host the president would require cancelation of 186 classes, which “would result in an extraordinary disruption of the second day of the new semester,” Wood said in the statement.

Wood wrote that the university would also have to bear the full cost of the event, including event staffing, and, by requirements for both federal and state tax-exempt status, the university would have to provide the same opportunity for other candidates.

The White House released a schedule Friday showing the president will campaign in Charlottesville on Wednesday.

WVIR reported that the university offered the campaign the university’s John Paul Jones Arena, but were told it “was not academic enough” by the Obama for America campaign, according to the UVA Communications Office.

Details on an alternative event location are unclear.

CNN reached out to the Obama campaign and the university but did not receive immediate responses.