MADISON (WKOW) -- A UW-Madison political science professor complained to administrators about President Obama's campaign visit to campus Thursday, arguing students wishing to attend were routed to the campaign web site, and the visit was disruptive to classes and campus activities.
"I think this should have been handled differently, in a way that welcomed the President but did not diminish our basic purpose," professor Kenneth Mayer wrote.
Mayer wrote steering students to the campaign web site and to provide personal information in order to attend the president's appearance on Bascom Hall was misguided.
"In a very real sense, we are forcing them to become participants in the campaign and express their support for the campaign," said Mayer.
Mayer said his concerns would be identical if republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited campus and there were similar campaign connections.
UW associate chancellor Vince Sweeney defended the logistics of the ticketing.
""A link to the ticket registration site on the campaign web site was included to expedite the distribution of ticket information, avoid confusion, and help ensure orderliness at the gates at the event," Sweeney wrote in a statement.
"There's a line that's been crossed here," said Wisconsin for Romney campaign chair Ted Kanavas.
"(Students) Giving information about their personal lives to the Obama campaign and using state resources to get there," Kanavas said.
Mayer also complained about the disruption to campus classes and activity. A UW-Madison official said 3,198 students were potentially impacted, as several campus buildings were closed for security reasons.
"It's about $65 to $70 a day, if you break down the cost of tuition. I'm losing $65 by not being able to attend class," UW-Madison junior Tony Trenzeluk said.
"It's still the President of the United States," UW-Madison sophomore Paul Davidson said.
"It's a pretty historic event. It's on campus. It's pretty neat we can experience that on campus."
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