IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa students, staff and faculty members have been lining up since before noon to get a chance to hear the president speak Wednesday on campus about issues facing the nation, including college affordability.
Free tickets for the 1 p.m. event at the Field House are being distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis at the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union from noon to 5 p.m. today and again starting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
UI Communication and Marketing officials this afternoon issued a correction to some of the tickets, which were misprinted with the time that doors open Wednesday listed as 10 p.m. rather than 10 a.m.
It's unclear how many tickets are available for the event and how many remained Monday afternoon, but each person is being allowed only one ticket because of space limitations, according to UI Communication and Marketing.
UI senior Katie Alden was lined up Monday for her ticket to see Obama, and she told The Gazette that it seemed like an opportunity she shouldn't miss.
"Why would you pass up the opportunity to see the president, that's what I keep thinking," Alden said.
UI senior Josh Breger, who also got his free ticket Monday, said he has similar feelings about the opportunity.
"Any time you get the opportunity to see the most powerful man in the world, you got to go see him," Breger said. "Miss class, miss work, it's the president."
Even though UI graduate student Cecilia Murniati is here from Indonesia, she views Obama's visit as a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
"I would love to spend time to see any president," Murniati said. "This is a chance to experience the work of the American president."
She is especially interested in Obama's plan to address the issue of college affordability in his effort to get Congress to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling.
More than 7.4 million students with federal loans will see their interest rates double in July, unless Congress takes action, according to the White House.
"That is very important for us," Murniati said.
Anyone attending Wednesday's event will be required to go through airport-like security and should come with as few personal items as possible. Bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids and signs won't be allowed in the venue. Cameras are allowed.
Because parking near the Field House will be limited, those planning on going are encouraged to take public transportation.