Wake Forest debate committee completes plan addressing parking, campus access, other issues

A Wake Forest University committee preparing for the Oct. 11 presidential debate has completed work on a plan that addresses campus access, parking, building usage and food service during the time surrounding the debate.

The plan was developed to provide for the needs of the university community while addressing the logistical requirements of the debate, according to campus debate organizers.

“Our goal has been to reduce inconvenience to the university community as much as possible, while providing all that is necessary to host the debate at Wake Forest,” said Sandra Boyette, vice president for university advancement. “A number of people have worked hard to develop the best plan to achieve both.”

To help carry out this plan, all students, faculty and staff will need their Wake Forest identification card to enter campus from 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8, until noon on Thursday, Oct. 12. As part of the debate’s security plan, students, faculty and staff will also need to carry their ID cards while on campus. Those who need a new ID card should contact the Deacon OneCard office in 218 Benson University Center, at 758-7777, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The Deacon OneCard office will remain open during the days leading up to the debate, but will be accessed through Benson Center’s library circle entrance only. It will operate with extended hours-until 11 p.m.-on Monday, Oct. 9, through Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Campus visitors or community members who do not have a Wake Forest ID will need to carry some form of photo ID at all times.

Letters distributed in campus mail late this week will provide information about campus preparations for university students, faculty and staff. A map prepared specifically for the debate will accompany those letters distributed on the Reynolda Campus. It will illustrate where Reynolda Campus students, faculty and staff will park during this time. The map will also include written information on parking, campus access and food service.

The university is expecting thousands of visitors during the days leading up to the debate, including members of the media, campaign representatives, security personnel and those attending the debate. Several campus buildings and specific areas of campus will be used to accommodate their needs and will require preparations that will begin several days before the debate.

Wait Chapel, Wingate Hall, Reynolda Hall, Benson University Center and University Plaza (the Quad) will be vital to debate preparations and the event itself. There are no plans to move students from their residence halls for the debate.

The Quad will be accessible most of the time during the period around the debate. For security reasons, temporary fencing, approximately four feet tall, will be constructed around a portion of the Quad lawn and along Wake Forest Road in front of Wait Chapel.

Work on the fencing may begin as early as Oct. 2; the fencing will remain in place until after the debate.

Access to the Quad and areas around Wait Chapel, including parking lots A, P and Q, will be limited on the day of the debate. People will be asked to walk only on the sidewalks of the Quad, rather than on the grass, due to media and security requirements for that area.

The southern half of the Quad will be closed for a short time on debate day. The exact closing time has not been announced, but it is expected to be during the daytime.

No one will be allowed on the northern half of the Quad, near the chapel, from approximately mid-day on Wednesday, Oct. 11, until after the debate has been completed and the candidates have left the university.

Students living in residence halls on the northern half of the Quad-Efird, Huffman, Poteat and Taylor residence halls-will be required to enter the buildings from their courtyards on debate day. There will be no access from the Quad.

The closing of the northern half of the Quad on Wednesday afternoon will alter the schedules of the College Book Store and the post office. The bookstore will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; the post office will operate from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The Deacon Shop, on the southern half of the Quad, will be open from 8:30 a.m. until after the debate. Presidential debate merchandise will be available in the Deacon Shop.

The Sundry Shop schedule will not be affected by the Quad restriction.

Wait Chapel will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, to begin its transformation into a debate hall. It will remain closed after the debate until all debate-related equipment has been cleared out. The adjoining Wingate Hall will be closed for classes from Friday, Oct. 6, through Friday, Oct. 13. Affected classes are scheduled to meet at other locations during this time and their professors will notify students. The building will remain open for faculty and staff until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Benson University Center will serve as media headquarters for the debate. Its offices will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. The Benson Center food court will close at midnight on Friday, Oct. 6, and will reopen for lunch on Thursday, Oct. 12. The aerobics and weight rooms will close on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and will reopen under normal hours on Monday, Oct. 16.

Student media offices in the Benson Center will continue to operate during this time and have arranged for access to the building through the Commission on Presidential Debates and the university. The Information Desk will continue to answer calls at 758-5255 from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, through Thursday, Oct. 12. However, it will not operate from the Benson Center.

Parts of Reynolda Hall will also be used by the media for office space. The Magnolia Room will be closed from Wednesday, Oct. 4, until Monday, Oct. 16. (The map being distributed to students, faculty and staff incorrectly states the Magnolia Room will close earlier.)

Nearby rooms on the second floor as well as two rooms on the first floor will close Wednesday, Oct. 4, and reopen after debate equipment has been cleared out. The balcony facing Wait Chapel, a coveted spot for photographers, will be reserved for the media and closed to students, faculty and staff on Oct. 11 and possibly earlier.

The Reynolda Hall cafeteria (The Pit), the Information Systems Building food court and the Sundry Shop will operate with extended hours during this time to accommodate for the closings of Benson Center food court and Magnolia Room. Additional student food service will be offered under a tent on the Magnolia patio (Reynolda Hall) for lunch on Monday, Oct. 9, through Wednesday, Oct. 11. The North Campus Convenience Store will operate on its regular schedule.

The university will announce any unexpected changes to this schedule that are required by the Secret Service.

Several off-campus parking areas for students, faculty and staff have been established by the university to accommodate for the number of parking lots on campus that will be closed to meet debate-related needs.

All commuting drivers-students, faculty and staff-will park off-campus. Residential students will park both off-campus and on-campus in designated parking lots.

In general, on-campus lots reserved for media will be occupied by trucks and equipment. Private vehicles driven by media will be parked off-campus.

Continuous shuttle service provided by the university will transport students, faculty and staff to and from the off-campus lots and campus. A Wake Forest ID or other photo identification is required to ride all shuttles.

Students and faculty/staff residents who have visitors coming to campus at any time from Oct.9 through Oct. 12 must register their guests through University Police as usually done with guests entering campus after 10 p.m. Students can register their guests by calling 311 or sending an e-mail to parking@nullwfu.edu.

Specific details about the parking plan will be addressed through letters to students, faculty and staff.

Categories: Events, National, University Announcement