Barack Obama to Speak at Capital on Tuesday | Capital University
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    • Barack Obama to Speak at Capital on Tuesday

      Obama-inset
      From President Beth Paul

      I am pleased to inform you that Capital University once again will demonstrate its values of inspiring engaged and informed citizenship, and welcoming diverse political discourse. We have agreed to serve as the venue for President Barack Obama, who will visit Capital for a “Get Out the Early Vote” event on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in The Capital Center Field House. 

      Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. This is a ticketed, free event, with a limited number of tickets being distributed on a first-come basis. Capital students, faculty and staff can claim a ticket by going to the Harry C. Moores Student Union Lobby on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Family/guest tickets will be available, but they must be claimed in person by the individual attending the event.

      Other details surrounding the Obama appearance are pending, including the exact start time of the event, building access, parking and other logistics. Information will be shared with the Capital community as soon as it is available. With the exception of an area for people with accessibility needs, there will be no seating.

      As a community that celebrates free inquiry, critical thinking, civil dialogue and the free exchange of ideas, it is no coincidence that Capital finds itself at the center of political debate among presidential candidates, their supporters and opponents, and those who want to observe the process. There is history here.

      Capital has been the site of gatherings for many presidential hopefuls, including Green Party candidate Jill Stein earlier this fall. In the four weeks leading up to the 2008 election, there were visits by Republican presidential nominee John McCain and then-Gov. Sarah Palin, as well as Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, Constitution presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin, and Michelle Obama, the wife of then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. The discourse continued in 2012 with visits from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and, later, President Obama, who spoke in front of Ruff Memorial Learning Center as he crisscrossed the country. And in 1996, former presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush appeared with Republican candidate Bob Dole on the Mees Hall stage just four days before the election.

      As a non-profit, non-partisan university, Capital’s decision to serve as the venue for these events must not be perceived as an endorsement of any candidate or view. It is Capital’s mission to prepare students to be critical thinkers, careful discerners of information, and active citizens. These experiences enable our learning community to hear and judge for ourselves the views of the candidates, free from filters, as we evaluate who best reflects our views, values and interests.

      I hope you will join me in exercising your right to engage in the American political process.