By Michael Freeman, Managing Editor
When Charlie Gibson of ABC News announced Sen. Barack Obama (D – Ill.) would be the 44th president of the United States of America shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 20 ACU students erupted in cheers, applause and exhilaration at the Rock the Vote Election Watch Party in the Campus Center Living Room.
“This is monumental, baby!” one student yelled.
“This is past historical!” another shouted.
The students, most of whom were Obama supporters, hugged each other, gave each other high fives and immediately called their friends and family to tell them the news.
“Words cannot explain right now…it’s amazing,” said Anna Peters, senior Bible and education major from Houston.
Students said they were excited about the results.
“The polls were saying that Barack Obama was going to win, but I wasn’t really positive he was going to. And then when they announced it, it was pure shock,” said Daniel Burgner, junior political science major from Yorba Linda, Calif. “The United States has elected its first African-American president.It’s history. And to be a part of the election and to have voted in it, it really is incredible. I’m excited.”
The watch party began at 8 p.m. About a dozen students, some Obama and some Sen.
John McCain (R – Ari.) supporters, sat down to watch the election coverage, eat snacks and chat. Students would come and go as the watch party progressed, but most of the McCain supporters left shortly after ABC News announced Obama would win the state of Pennsylvania.
“At first it was very slow; people were trickling in and out,” Peters said. “But the closer it got, the more intense it would be. And when Charlie [Gibson] labeled it, everyone just went insane.”
Shortly after it was announced Obama had won the required 270 electoral votes, students from another election watch party in the back room of the “World Famous Bean” came to share in the celebration. While chanting Obama’s name, most of the students rushed to Nelson Hall to share their exuberance with the students watching the election there.
“It was refreshing just to see people energized about the election,” Burgner said.