Students will have the unique opportunity next week on Oct. 18 to hear Texas Congressman and former Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul speak on campus. Paul will be speaking as part of the university speaker series organized by the UVUSA Department of Academics. The event will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

The opportunity to host Paul came unexpectedly. According to Assistant Dean of Students Phil Clegg, The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) contacted Dean of Students Dr. Bob Rasmussen to inquire about using the university as a venue for several activities and meetings with Paul. Rasmussen accepted and began working with Erin Haskell, UVUSA Vice President of Academics, to coordinate an event where Paul could speak to students while on campus with the YPO.

Paul was one of four candidates in the Republican Party presidential primaries earlier this year. In February, when the Republican presidential candidate had not been nominated, KSL conducted a poll asking Utah residents for whom they would vote in the upcoming election. Paul won the poll with 9,000 votes compared to the 1,800 votes for the other three candidates combined.

Haskell said this is an incredible opportunity for students and community members to hear a high-profile politician speak. Originally, there was no speaker planned in October because September featured two events for the speaker series. Haskell explained that his visit comes as a pleasant surprise.

Congressman Paul requested that the event be focused more on speaking to students instead of the community-at-large because he enjoys the environment more. As a result, the Grand Ballroom was chosen as a more student-accessible location instead of the larger UCCU Center.