The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday May 7th

Student Congress funds to help bring Herman Cain to campus

He may no longer be in the race for president, but former Republican candidate Herman Cain still has a lot to say about politics, the economy and the 2012 election — and soon he’ll be able to share those thoughts with UNC students.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, Student Congress approved the College Republicans’ funding request to bring Cain to campus.

The finance committee approved the group’s $10,622 request, which will cover Cain’s travel expenses, lodging expenses and a portion of his speaking cost.

“We thought it would impact a large amount of people for the relative cost of the event,” said Jared Simmons, chairman of the finance committee.

Greg Steele, chairman of the College Republicans, said the full cost of the event will be almost $15,000, but the group didn’t want to ask Student Congress to cover all of the expenses.

“We’re doing some additional fundraising and we’re working with the Carolina Economics Club on logistics,” he said. “But we’re very pleased with the amount we received.”

After the group’s failed attempt to bring pundit Ann Coulter to speak on campus, members started looking at other big names, including Cain and Michael Reagan, the son of former president Ronald Reagan.

“A hot topic right now is the 2012 election, and who better to give insight than someone who has been in the campaign,” Steele said. “His economic background was a huge draw as well.”

Marc Seelinger, executive vice-chairman for the College Republicans, said the group is excited to host such a large event.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on this decision,” he said. “The whole thing with Ann Coulter was a disappointment, so I think everyone will enjoy this.”

Cain is expected to speak on March 1, but Steele said the date hasn’t been confirmed with Cain’s office.

The event will most likely be held in the Great Hall of the Student Union, but Steele has also looked into Memorial Hall.

“If we could secure a larger venue, I think a lot of people would be interested in hearing him speak,” Steele said. “I don’t think we’ll have any problem filling the Great Hall.”

Student interest in the event varied.

“I probably wouldn’t go,” said senior Chris Ostrander. “He turned into a joke pretty fast. I can’t imagine he’d have anything too insightful to say.”

Sophomore Sarah Pellegrino said hearing Cain speak would be a valuable experience.

“Even though he’s stepped back from his candidacy, he had great ideas for economic reform and would be a man worth listening to and learning from,” she said.

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