UTC students welcome and protest Presidential visit and accompanying disruptions

McKenzie Arena will be filled Sunday with students and observers hoping to hear President Trump speak.

As McKenzie Arena prepares for the arrival of President Trump, UTC students must decide whether to attend the rally or avoid the disruptions of a Presidential visit.

President Donald Trump is stumping in Chattanooga for Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn on November 4.

Blackburn is running a close race against Democratic hopeful Phil Bredesen for the Senate seat Bob Corker is vacating.

"I think he decided to come here because most of Tennessee is in the red but I think Chattanooga is one of those places that is kind of split between Democrat and Republican," UTC Freshman A.J. Williams told NewsChannel 9.

Williams is one of many students planning to attend Sunday's rally "because how often are you going to see the president?"

However, WIlliams doesn't consider herself a supporter of President Trump, instead calling him "a wildcard."

When she first learned of the visit, Williams considered protesting but changed her mind "because it's supposed to peaceful but sometimes peaceful protests don't always go so peacefully."

Williams' classmate, Ciara Bonds, is planning to protest.

"We have very different beliefs so he's not anybody that I'm really excited to see," Bonds says.

The Sophomore says her beliefs diverge from the President's most on immigration.

"He's taking children away from parents. I don't agree with that," Bond told NewsChannel 9.

Other students like Sophomore Ben Goodman are planning to avoid the Presidential visit all together.

"I have somebody picking me up and we're going to go a town over so we're just going to totally avoid everything," Goodman said.

According to the UTC website, 11 parking lots will be closed on Sunday until the conclusion of the event.

Notable campus buildings will also be closed including the University Center, ARC, Maclellan Gymnasium, and food court.

"Everything is going to be on lockdown for safety because they're concerned about our safety so it makes it a little bit difficult," Williams said.

The school is urging students to carry their UTC ID's with them and encourages students, staff, and faculty to enter campus along McCallie Avenue.

UTC says the library will be open to students on Sunday but only through the Chamberlain Field entrance.

Click here for information on event registration, parking, road closures, and more.

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