Homework, blankets, coffee, cell phones and a few lawn chairs kept students and community members company on the plaza as they waited Saturday morning to receive tickets to see President Barack Obama.
From 7 until 9 a.m. approximately 60 people were in line to receive a free ticket to see Obama speak at CSU’s Monfort Quad on Tuesday. By 11 a.m. the number had doubled and the line stretched from the southwest corner of the plaza almost to the intersection of Meridian and University Avenues.
Still, the volunteers didn’t give out all the tickets available, according to the Obama campaign. Though the campaign would not say how many tickets were still left, the campaign confirmed that at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday there were still tickets available and that they were “going fast.”
The campaign could also not provide the exact number of tickets distributed, but on Saturday Vanessa Dominguez, a volunteer with the Obama campaign, estimated that about 2,000 people received tickets at the CSU plaza location alone.
At least 100 people were in line at the Obama For America office on South College Avenue, and others waited at the CSU OFA office on Elizabeth Street.
A ticket will guarantee entrance to the event, according to Dominguez. Volunteer Bryon Lee estimated there were 30 volunteers working to distribute tickets, which were set to be given away at noon.
Some students on the plaza arrived as early as 3 a.m. to guarantee their place at the event.
“I’ve never pulled an all-nighter before,” said Riley Gearhard, a sophomore biology major who was in the 3 a.m. group. “It was a lot of fun and good bonding. We’re all RAs in Summit, and we feel it’s our duty to hear the president speak.”
While waiting to receive tickets, many people played cards, talked and ran shifts to get breakfast and coffee. And it wasn’t just American citizens who stood in line — a group of international students waited to get tickets as well.
“He’s the most famous person in America, and good at speaking in public,” said Chanun Singh, an English and philosophy major from England. “It’d be silly not to (come) if we’re here.”
The president will speak at CSU on Tuesday at 5 p.m. as part of a three-college tour beginning at Iowa State University and ending at the University of Virginia. At each stop, including CSU, he will discuss his education platform and voter registration.
Locations to receive tickets other than the plaza included the Obama for America offices in Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins. The Fort Collins office is located at 4206 S. College Ave., Unit 109. The CSU OFA office is located at 1205 W. Elizabeth St.
At the office on South College Avenue, the first people in line had arrived a little later than their CSU counterparts. Cat Lichtenbelt, who waited with other early-arrivals next to the office door, said that she had arrived at 6:30 a.m.
“I wanted a ticket. I went (to Obama’s speech at the Oval) in 2008 and I wanted to go again,” Lichtenbelt said.
Most of the people waiting in line at the OFA office were Fort Collins community members, but a few students had set up to wait at the location as well.
Sophomore business major Zenaida Herrea said she went to the south College location because she thought the campus ticket line might be busier.
She said she wanted to see Obama speak because she agrees with his education policy. Herrea received a pell grant, which she credited in part to Obama.
“It’s paying for my school and I’m forever grateful for that,” she said.