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Monday, May 27, 2024

‘Plan accordingly,’ some lots to be closed for Donald Trump rally in Wilmington

Trask Coliseum on the UNCW campus. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
Trask Coliseum on the UNCW campus. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

WILMINGTON – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will be holding a rally Tuesday afternoon at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, as part of campaign stops in what is being described as a battleground state in his race against Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.

According to a release from UNCW Chancellor Zito Sartarelli, parking and traffic on campus tomorrow will be affected starting in the early morning. Visitors are encouraged to plan accordingly.

The rally is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. According to the release, two parking lots near Trask Coliseum will be closed beginning at 7 a.m. Eaton Plaza, located between Trask and James Hall, and A Lot, located between Hanover Gym and Hoggard Hall, will be off-limits. Employees who usually park in that lot will have to use C Lot (near Kenan Auditorium), E Lot (near the Fisher Student Center) or K Lot (near Trask Coliseum).

Visitors to campus, whether there for tours, camps or for the rally itself, will be directed to M Lot at the intersection of Riegel Road and Price Drive. Once that lot fills, attendants will direct visitors where to park.

Security details are still being worked out, though the chancellor said the university police are working with the Wilmington Police Department, other local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Secret Service to make sure the event remains peaceful and civil.

The event is being sponsored by the school’s College Republicans student group.

“This is not a university-sponsored event, but we are nonetheless taking our obligations to our campus community’s safety and well-being seriously,” Sartarelli said in the statement. “While we presume that the event will be a peaceful one, and we strongly encourage civility and respect among those planning to attend, we are preparing for all possibilities, as we would for any large campus event.”

Sartarelli said UNCW is expecting “a passionate response from both supporters and detractors” and emphasized the university’s pledge to encourage the discussion of all ideas.

“No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, as a public university, UNCW must remain committed to free speech, the free exchange of ideas, and our faculty, staff and students’ right to engage in political dialogue,” said Sartarelli. “We are doing everything in our power to make this student organization’s event a productive and safe one for all involved.”

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