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Currents: campus responds to election results

After a long election season, people can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that all votes are in and our 44th president, Barack Obama, is set to take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009.

Here at Colby-Sawyer, while Republican candidates certainly had their supporters, there was an overwhelming amount of campaigning done for Democrats, not only in the presidential race but also for local and state contests.

For many students this was their first presidential election, and while some voted by absentee ballot in their home states, hundreds of others marched down to New London's town hall to register and vote. Regardless of how they voted, there was an air of anticipation as students waited to hear the nation's decision. Some sat in front of their computers, watching the tally of votes slowly climb, and others gathered in Wheeler Hall to watch CNN's coverage of the event.

In Page Hall, seemingly packed with Democrats, residents piled out of their rooms each time Obama won a state, hooting and hollering about the victory before retreating back to their rooms. When Obama was declared the winner, they took their celebration out to the quad.

After all that excitement, Colby-Sawyer Currents set out to gauge reactions from students, faculty and staff about the results. We asked which candidate won their support, and how they felt about the outcome of the presidential election.

– by Amber Cronin '11

“I supported Obama and I’m really excited that he won.  I think he is going to bring a great big change to this country, as well as to other nations.  I am really excited that he won - I am so happy to be alive when the first African American was [elected] president.  There is still prejudice and racist people out there, but  I believe that Obama is a good asset to this country. If McCain were elected, things would have gotten so much worse.  He [McCain] wants to go to war with Iran, and that was a big point [against McCain] from my standpoint, because I have family in Iran and I don’t want the U.S. invading my second home.”  - Ariana Coleman ‘10

“I voted for John McCain, so I don’t really like the outcome, but I’m going to give Obama a chance.  Let’s see if he can do as much good as he says he’s going to do. ”  - Michael Lepore ‘12

“ I am incredibly excited that we have an articulate, intelligent President-elect who I believe is committed to doing the 'right thing' for this nation. The hard work is now about to begin as we tackle the economy, our environmental footprint on this planet, and our reliance on foreign oil. We will all need to think outside the box to problem-solve, sacrifice, and bring forward the indomitable American spirit … the “can do” approach to life. You can guess whom I voted for … and historically, what a brave move for our nation to vote in this particular man.”  - Debi Field McGrath, Athletic Director

“I voted for McCain.  I felt that a lot of people voted without actually looking into the issues and were very susceptible to advertisements. I feel in the future we should no longer have [negative] advertising be part of the campaigns.”  - Evan Leary ‘11

“I left CNN on and it was just absolutely fascinating.  They had some really interesting commentators. The somberness of his [Obama’s] speech, which is so not like him in many ways, because he’s so high energy and rah-rah  was just such a clear communication that now the hard work starts.”  - LuAnn Ryall, Assistant Director of Career Development

“I supported Obama and voted in Maine by absentee ballot.  I am so excited.”  - Briana Hailey ‘12

“As a Republican, this is a bittersweet time for me. I am moved by the significance of this historic moment, and President-elect Obama deserves our admiration in his achievement; however, to truly rejoice I would need to suspend my beliefs about a number of issues. What I love most about our system is the freedom to debate and to work side by side with people with whom I disagree. Hopefully, we will continue to learn from each other and our nation will continue to grow and prosper.”  - Karin Berthiaume, Assistant Director, Residential Education

“I supported Obama, too, and I am really excited.  Especially about the whole change thing, because everyone’s so excited, and everyone’s united.”  - Lauren Collins ‘12

“Coming from Kenya, and not eligible to vote in the United States, I am very excited to be part of this landmark election – sort of looking inside from the outside. I say 'landmark election' for two reasons. It is the first time an African American is occupying the White House, the center of American power, and with such overwhelming support. Incidentally, since Jimmy Carter, no Democratic president has garnered more than 50 percent of the popular vote. What they failed to do, Obama did. I hope that his election opens up a new chapter on race relations in the U.S. Second, as you might already know, Obama's father was from Kenya. In 2006, Obama visited Kenya and was asked during a public lecture at the University of Nairobi whether he would consider running to become president of the United States. A few months later, he announced he was running to be the U.S. President. His election will indirectly influence political events in Kenya. For many in Kenya, it is like having a big brother to take care of your interests. ”  - Dr. Isaac Nyamongo, Visiting Fulbright Scholar

“It's a greater day in America! The reality of our sons and daughters is that they can be anything they want to be in this nation. I hope that we will unite and find a common voice, as the challenges before us are indeed great. But on this historic night, same-sex unions were struck down. And throughout the campaign, remarkable women were vilified by the media and voters alike. And so we have much work to do. Still, I smile at the promise for tomorrow and at the triumph of today. ”  - Kathleen Karr, Employment Coordinator

“I voted Republican.  I don’t have too many strong opinions against either candidate.  I feel that both could lead the country, but I was more for McCain.  There are some things I definitely worry about with Obama, but I’m sure that every Republican has concerns.  I know that we need change in the country, so I am hoping that he will bring the change that we need, and we’re just going to have to see what happens.  I definitely have some concerns, though.”  - Cassie Robinson ‘12

“I supported Obama, and I’m very happy.  I think he stands for change and truth.  I think he represents public service, bona fide public service.  I think we will have change, it is a historic moment.  It’s good to see that we’ve come this far.”  - Sandy Brownell, Lethbridge Lodge staff