University of Virginia declines Obama request to speak on campus

The University of Virginia has declined President Obama’s request to speak on campus next week, citing security costs and the disruption of classes.

University officials said the Obama campaign wanted to use one of two outdoor venues – the school’s Amphitheater or the Harrison-Small Library plaza – when the president visits Charlottesville on Wednesday, according to NBC affiliate WVIR-TV.

School officials said more than 186 classes would have to be cancelled, in the first week of the fall semester.

The president is scheduled next week to visit three battleground states with a focus on wooing college voters, as the Republican Party holds its national convention in Tampa, Fla.

On Tuesday, Obama is scheduled to hold a rally at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, then one at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colo.

Virginia's top Democrat is playing down the snub. Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran told the station, “We're proud that he's coming. We're very excited that he's coming to Charlottesville, regardless of where in Charlottesville.”

University spokesperson Carol Wood confirmed to the TV station that President Obama will not be speaking at the university.

And the university’s communications office said Friday, school officials offered John Paul Jones Arena, but were told it "was not academic enough" by the Obama for America campaign.

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