Hundreds of students — both Republicans and Democrats — braved hours of cold and rain to ensure they received tickets to President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday.
Students began lining up at the Carmichael Arena box office Saturday at 8:30 p.m. carrying sandwiches, blankets, tents and homework.
For many students, their goal was simply to experience the rare opportunity of hearing a sitting president speak on campus.
But for some students, the topic of the president’s speech — interest rates on student loans — is important for their ability to afford UNC.
Whitlee Angel, a freshman nursing student who waited in line for almost six hours Sunday, said the president will discuss an issue that affects her deeply as a student.
“If the interest rates substantially go up, then I probably wouldn’t be able to attend here in the future. It is just a hassle to have to pay more.”
The president’s visit to UNC is part of a tour of three college campuses Tuesday and Wednesday, including stops at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa.
Obama is scheduled to land at Raleigh-Durham International Airport around 11:50 a.m. and is scheduled to speak Tuesday around 1 p.m. Following his speech, the president will make an appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” which will be taped in Memorial Hall.
Nikita Shamdasani, student body secretary at UNC, helped distribute tickets for Obama’s speech on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.