Georgetown students run to the White House after Obama victory
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were reelected on Tuesday night, and hundreds of Hoyas ran to the White House to express their support. Both Leavey’s Sellinger Lounge and The Tombs were packed with Georgetown students watching the election count on CNN, cheering for Obama as he won state after state.
Students gathered at the front gates around midnight to run to the White House in large batches.
“Running to the White House for me was a way of celebrating a hard fought victory, acknowledging the opportunity we have as a democracy to fairly chose our leaders, and envision an improved America,” Mauricio Serna (SFS ’13) wrote in an email to Vox. “It was also a way of participating in what makes Georgetown such as a special place. Hundreds of Hoyas ran in groups, with buses, cabs and other drivers honking as we ran while chanting ‘four more years.’ At the White House, it felt as if half our campus was there, and chants of Hoya Saxa also broke out.”
Serna ran with a group of 10 students who started out watching the election at The Tombs.
Tuesday evening, almost 75 to 100 Georgetown students stood in line at Duke Ellington High School to engage in same-day registration. Ballots were shoved into an inconspicuous cardboard box, with lines circling around the high school hallways until 9 p.m. Not expecting so many students to show up for same-day registration, the voting personel were not equipped with enough same-day special ballots, further delaying the process. Students waited close to four hours before they were able to vote.
Now-elected ANC member for 2EO4 Craig Cassey (COL ’15) started out at Leavey before the White House run. “I had just walked into the College Dems watch party in Sellinger and they had announced Obama’s most likely victory,” Cassey said. “Everybody went crazy, screaming and shouting ‘To the White House!‘” At least a couple hundred students were in Leavey, with about one fourth of them running to D.C.
With gay marriage passing in Maryland, many students felt Obama’s vocal support for gay marriage had a huge impact on their decision to either vote for him or support his campaign. “We saw a big change in the nation last night in terms of marriage equality… and I believe that because Obama has vocalized his support, it’s created a culture that we, as a gay rights movement, can move forward and can make more victories,” Cassey said.
Jon Gillis (COL ’13) , a student who was at The Tombs throughout last night, found that throughout the election, the Democrat Party focused on social issues that were far less important than the fiscal struggles Obama needs to address. “The frustrating thing is that to me, and a lot of my friends on the right, there’s this perception that Obama people can go crazy about the left and love everything about the Democrats, but Republicans can’t do the same thing,” he said. “The minute people go crazy about Republicans, accusations arise about being a Tea Partyist and a right extremist come about.”
“People who went to the White House cheering…it is exciting in the moment but demonstrates an irrational adoration of a guy who is a human and who makes mistakes,” he said.
More to come in post later about our newly elected ANC candidates, Peter Prindiville and Craig Cassey.
Photo Sophia Kleyman