DNC Convention Causing Problems for Local Charlotte Colleges

February 29, 2012

The Democratic National Convention is creating problems for local universities in Charlotte, N.C., WCNC, an NBC affiliate reports. At least one local school will shut down classes during the week of the convention. University scheduling isn't the only thing being affected, though--the NFL season will begin a day early to avoid conflict with the president's convention speech. The game will be the first Wednesday NFL game since 1948.

WAGNER: News Channel 36 exclusive, local colleges and universities preparing for September's Democratic National Convention. Problem is, a lot of their planning is up in the air. Good evening, I'm Dave Wagner.

GANTT: And I'm Sonja Gantt. Tonight, we have learned four local colleges are adjusting their calendars for the Democratic National Convention. On that list: Johnson C. Smith, UNC-Charlotte’s Uptown campus, CPCC’s main campus in Elizabeth, and Johnson & Wales University in Uptown, which is trying to plan for the unpredictable. News Channel 36 anchor Ben Thompson has the new details for us.

THOMPSON: Johnson & Wales sophomore Tornell Hawthorne isn't looking forward to September.

HAWTHORNE: Super crazy.

THOMPSON: Super crazy because the first day of classes is also the first day of the Democratic National Convention just blocks away. Then the president will speak even closer that Thursday when campus might be forced to shut down. Here's a challenge facing Johnson & Wales: You have hundreds of students who just moved into the dorm behind had he when President Obama speaks just a parking lot away at Bank of America stadium.

SCHOOL OFFICIAL: Our problem is or our challenge is, this is going on right when our students move in.

THOMPSON: To solve the challenge, students will move in a week earlier.

SCHOOL OFFICIAL: We've had a lot of calls from police and secret service wanting to use our space, but we’ve tried to explain we need it for our students.

THOMPSON: Instead, Johnson C. Smith just outside of Uptown might house some of those security staff, which could push back their classes by a week. UNC-Charlotte’s Uptown classes will likely get moved to its main campus. And as we’ve reported, CPCC will shut down for the entire week, and serve as a security hub, leaving Johnson & Wales with students like Tornell as the lone college having classes during the convention chaos. The president of the United States is going to be across the street, is that kind of cool?

STUDENT: Yes, yes.

THOMPSON: in Charlotte, Ben Thompson, News Channel 36.