The NBC29 newsroom has received the following statement from University of Virginia Spokesperson Carol Wood:
Many of you have asked about whether President Obama will be holding an upcoming campaign rally in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia.
I am writing to tell you that the University met with five members of the Obama Presidential Campaign on Wednesday. The campaign requested the use of one of two outdoor University venues — the Amphitheater or the Harrison-Small Library plaza. After reviewing the campaign's request for either of these two sites and the impact on the University, the University declined the request for the following reasons:
- As you know, Aug. 29 is the second day of classes overall and the first day of classes on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday academic schedule.
- The use of either of the desired sites would require closing buildings adjacent to the sites for the entire day.
- The cancellation of 186 classes would occur if the site is the Amphitheater or closing of the libraries and Newcomb dining if the site is the Harrison-Small plaza. This would result in an extraordinary disruption of the second day of the new semester.
- In addition to the disruption to classes, the University would have to bear the full cost of security — a substantial and open-ended expenditure of staff time and money.
- By University policy, we would also have to offer the same accommodations and bear the same costs for other candidates. Both our federal and state tax-exempt status requires that we not favor any candidate.
- The Secret Service will have final approval on the site chosen and will dictate the security requirements, but at a minimum the buildings adjacent to the event venue would need to be closed on Aug. 29. Adjacent buildings will be searched and secured with officers posted in each starting at least 6 hours prior to the event.
Additional details: The use of McIntire Amphitheater would require the closing of the following buildings on Aug. 29: Bryan Hall, Cocke Hall, Garrett Hall, Minor Hall, and possibly Maury Monroe halls. The parking lots behind Bryan and Clark would have to be closed for the day, as well as a portion of McCormick Road.
The use of the Harrison-Small Special Collections Library would require the closing of the Alderman Library, Special Collections Library, the temporary dining facility, Peabody Hall, and possibly Monroe Hall, the rooms along the West Range and a portion of McCormick Road.