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'There is a buzz' | Hampton University students share excitement over Vice President Kamala Harris visit

She will kick off her month-long "Fight For Our Freedoms" college tour at HU. She plans to discuss reproductive rights, gun laws and climate action with students.

HAMPTON, Va. — Word is out around Hampton University: one of the country's most important elected officials is coming to visit. 

"It's a big deal no matter what, it's the Vice President. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Hampton senior Isaac Harris said. 

Vice President Kamala Harris will kick off a country-wide "Fight For Our Freedoms" college tour at Hampton University Thursday, as she makes trips to roughly a dozen public universities and HBCUs across the country. She plans to discuss reproductive rights, gun laws and climate action with students.

“Having that presence on campus shows me, 'Wow there are people who out there, women out there becoming involved in powers that 100 years ago our ancestors would not believe,'" freshman Alessandra Garron said. 

"This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future," Harris said in a news release announcing the visit. "It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality. My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything."

This trip comes about two years after another, smaller-scale visit by Harris to Hampton University's grounds. In fall of 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris participated in a roundtable discussion about minority students in STEM programs. 

The event then was limited to a handful of students, and was not an open-press event. 

Lillian Carr, Hampton's Student Government Association President, estimates roughly 1,200 students and staff and other personnel will fill Ogden Hall for the discussion this go around. 

“The this year is way more open, there is an opportunity to sit down with the VP on a larger scale," Carr said, who will introduce Vice President Harris on Thursday. 

In a call with student leaders across all participating colleges, Carr said students discussed real-time campus issues specific to their respective universities with the Vice President. 

“Something specific to Hampton University was mental health, and stress and being a student and how that effects are day to day," Harris said. 

School officials told 13News Now that parking lots on campus may be filled by the Vice President's travelling security and staging, but exact details were still up in the air. The Settler's Landing area, they say, will be susceptible to congestion around the time of the Vice President's presence in campus. 

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