Little election excitement on campus
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 05:11
There was no chanting, no students marching down The Green, no viewing parties in the Trabant University Center. Election Day 2010 was a far cry from what it was in 2008, according to some students.
"It feels like any other Tuesday," senior Kevin McGuiggan said. "The only thing noticeable today is we didn't have class."
Another senior, Andrew Noll, was also surprised about the lack of election events on campus Tuesday.
"The only thing I noticed stuff about Election Day, besides my roommates talking about it, is on Facebook," Noll said. "They have this little stream going on my wall about if you voted today. I haven't noticed anything on campus."
During the 2008 presidential election, the university hosted an interactive forum in the Trabant Multi-Purpose rooms, complete with analysis from political science professors, live polling and kiosks highlighting the blogosphere and other forms of social media.
There were also projectors at the forum switching back and forth between CNN, MSNBC and ABC News for students to watch the results as they came in. Students could also participate in the election via the online community Second Life.
"I thought with the two debates being here, having classes off, people would have set up something like that," Noll said of this year's elections. "I probably would have gone."
The only event specific to election coverage Tuesday on campus was a live radio broadcast by WVUD in Perkins Student Center.
No election events were hosted in Trabant on this year.
"The TVs aren't even on," McGuiggan said. "That's weird. They are always on, whether it's CNN, some sporting event or the news."
The TV in the Scrounge in Perkins was also turned off as the Student Center Programming Advisory Board hosted its weekly comedy show. WVUD had two televisions tuned to CNN in the lobby of Perkins. However, the only students that seemed to be watching them with any interest were the hosts of the radio show, which analyzed the results of the Senate race.
"I haven't noticed any kind of mood on campus today," freshman Faith Buckley said after she walked out of Perkins.
This semester, the university hosted the Delaware Senate and House of Representatives debates in Mitchell Hall, which were broadcast live on CNN. The debates, along with the university's influence in the 2008 presidential election, have caused the university to be hailed as the "epicenter of politics" by university officials. Vice President Joe Biden is an alumnus, as are Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe, key political advisers for the 2008 presidential campaign.
However, some students have not noticed any increased attention among the student population for this year's elections.
"Except for the day she was here, no one seems that interested," Buckley said in reference to Christine O'Donnell. "Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I haven't noticed anything special going on today."
Buckley, who is from Massachusetts, said she did not vote this year. She also said she did not feel the Delaware race affected her.
McGuiggan, also from Massachusetts, shared his sentiments when asked about Democratic candidate Chris Coons defeating Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell in the Senate race.
"I felt like they made too big of a deal out of her," he said. "She wasn't going to win. But even if she did, I don't think it would have affected me at all since I'm not from here."
Noll, who is from New Jersey, said he would have voted but he was too busy working. He said although the university did not sponsor any election events, he felt like the student voter turnout increased.
"I've actually noticed more people being active and going out and voting, which is good," Noll said.