Students flood Memorial Union to get their hands on free Obama tickets

David Bartholomew

It was a muggy, rainy day at Iowa State this Saturday morning, but that didn’t discourage thousands of students from going to the Memorial Union to get their hands on free tickets to see President Barrack Obama speak on Central Campus this Tuesday.

In coordination with the ISU College Democrats, the Obama campaign orchestrated an effort to supply ISU students with thousands of available tickets to see Obama. Starting at the Trophy Tavern of the Memorial Union, the line of students extended through the West Entrance, up and around the stairs to the patio, and back to the West Entrance. Seeing as this is the first time Obama will come to Iowa State’s campus since his initial campaign in 2007, it is anticipated that thousands of students will turn out for the event.

“We got here at 9 a.m. to ensure that we could get tickets to see President Obama,” said Manali Patel, sophomore in pre-business. “I’ve never seen him speak before, and with this contentious election I felt it was necessary to hear him.”

Patel, like many other students on Saturday, is looking forward to hearing the President’s views on issues pertaining to students.

“I think healthcare and the economy, especially being a young person entering the job market, are very important in this election,” Patel said.

Also arriving at 9 a.m., Sara Loux, junior in history, is thrilled to see the President come to Iowa State but was surprised by the vast number of students who ventured to the Memorial Union on a Saturday morning.

“I didn’t expect this big of turnout. We got here early, but the line just kept getting longer and longer,” Loux said.

Besides her own support for the president, Loux emphasized the importance for young people to vote, regardless of their political party.

“Energizing young people to vote is very important, regardless of who you vote for,” Loux said. “It’s essential that people hear Obama speak as well as other candidates.”

In addition to the many Obama-supporters in line, there were several students interested in seeing the president speak who were either undecided or outright supporters of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

A freshman in engineering, Kyle Schmidt plans to vote for the first time this November but remains undecided on his presidential choice.

“I wanted to come out here to see the President speak in person and hear his views,” Schmidt said. “The deficit is the most important issue to me. … I’m not a very political person, so that’s why I feel it’s important to hear both sides.” Schmidt also mentioned he would definitely show up to see Mitt Romney if he came to Iowa State during this election season.

President Obama will be speaking at Central Campus on Tuesday sometime in the early afternoon as part of a multi-state tour to promote his reelection. Students who have tickets will be allowed on Central Campus starting at 10:30 a.m.