No Surprise, Security Top Priority as UI Prepares for Pres. Obama

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

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By Jay Knoll

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Final preparations are underway to host President Barack Obama on Wednesday. The president will be talking student loans on the University of Iowa campus. Security tops the list of priorities at the Field House where the president will give his speech Wednesday afternoon.

“As a college student it’s really cool to hear him addressing college matters,” said University of Iowa student Sheya Finkelstein.

It will be Obama's sixth trip to the UI campus, both as a presidential nominee and President of the United States.

“People seem really excited it seems pretty surreal that it’s not happening yet, tomorrow when the Field House is shut down and there’s helicopters around I think we’ll feel it a little more tomorrow,” said University of Iowa student Rebekah Hickernell.

To get ready, University Police head efforts to secure the Field House. While the president’s route to campus won’t be released, university spokesperson Tom Moore says it’s all hands on deck to patrol campus and the roads leading to it.

“Leave plenty of extra time there will probably be some detours and delays. It’s probably not best to come by and be an onlooker or an observer,” said University of Iowa Spokesperson Tom Moore.

But some people can’t help but be near the Field House. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics sits just next door. Moore says it’ll be the same complications any home football game presents.

“Maintain operations at hospitals and clinics and you can reschedule your appointments but in general we should be able to accommodate what we’ve seen,” said Moore.

For those planning to attend, remember there’s no event parking and pack lightly.

“Just to bring as little as possible. It’s like airport security basically I’m sure. The faster everyone gets in the better,” said Finkelstein.

There are no more tickets available at the University Box Office. Roughly 5,800 tickets were given away. Seating is first-come, first served. A ticket doesn't guarantee entry into the event.

KCRG-TV9 and KCRG.com will provide full coverage of President Obama's visit. The event at the UI Field House is expected to begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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