Students eagerly waited for the announcement of the next president of the United States throughout Westwood and UCLA.
And they found out quickly. At 8 p.m., many students cheered and hugged as newscasters declared Barack Obama the next U.S. president. The following are the reactions of students at several student viewing parties.
Los Angeles Tennis Center
More than 600 students from various student groups, including the Black Student Union and Samahang Pilipino waited for the election results at a viewing party held by the UCLA Community Programs Office.
Students said they were apprehensive at the beginning of the night. But as Obama won more and more electoral votes, most people’s worries subsided.
“I was skeptical and not sure how much we had progressed as a nation, but then as Obama gained a lead in red states, I realized that Obama was going to win,” said Antwan Herron, a graduate student in Afro-American studies.
After Obama gave his acceptance speech, a disc jockey began playing the song “Celebration,” and students began dancing the electric slide. A dance party continued for the next 40 minutes.
There was not a person without a smile on their face, as students began chanting “˜Yes we can’ in English and Spanish.
“This is a chance for our nation to come together and heal our wounds,” said Vincent Bezares, a fourth-year history student who voted for Obama. “Not only is this a defeat of the Republican party, but an end to the Reagan revolution.”
Westwood Brewing Company
Graduate students and alumni congregated at the Westwood Brewing Company to find out the results of the election. The most vocal were a group of 15 political science graduate students in the back of the bar.
“After Obama won Virginia, I knew there was no way McCain could win the election, so we all got up and clapped,” said Rob Shrode, a graduate student in political science.
Tim Thackrey, another graduate student in political science and an independent who voted for Obama, said that after 8 p.m. he could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
“Before, I didn’t want to set myself up like in 2000 with Gore, but now I’m very excited. They can’t reverse this with one state. I can exhale now,” he said.
International students who could not vote in the election were caught up in the excitement.
Raffaele Asquer, a graduate student in political science originally from Italy campaigned for Obama in Santa Monica even though he could not vote..
Diana Ichpekova, a second-year political science student from England said that Obama’s win is not only good for the United States but for Europe as well.
Though Will Grella, a dental student, was not happy with the outcome of the election, he said he still loves his country.
“I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to have exercised my vote today,” Grella said.
Tom Bradley International Hall
People screamed, cheered and hugged in the large auditorium when Obama’s win was announced.
“I’m going to be smiling for the next four years,” said Sabiha Khan, a second-year political science student.”
Students are excited to see a change of ideology in the White House.
“This victory will mean a new course in Iraq, we will get out, instead of staying in,” said Travis Ventling, a third-year political science student. “With Obama, the American worker will be put first.”
At the Dykstra eighth-floor study lounge there were no major exclamations until the words “Barack Obama elected President” appeared on the screen.
But others did not share this excitement. When the news was announced that Obama won, Kara Boyles, a first-year Spanish student was silent.
“I feel overwhelmed,” she said, when looking at her liberal floormates. “I’m disappointed with the outcome.”
In one room, 10 people piled into a triple room in Hedrick Hall to watch Obama speak. Students were happy to see McCain and Obama speak so highly of one another.
“I’m relieved,” said Andrew Dadour, a first-year biochemistry student. “I didn’t think he’d address McCain. That makes me re-assured that this nation will never be divided.”
Ron Carter, a 2008 alumnus was ecstatic with the results. He said he spent the past year campaigning for Obama in Nevada.
“This is the crystallization of Martin Luther King’s dream. I’ve always wondered if an African American would be president in my lifetime. My dream has come true, as well as Martin Luther King’s,” he said.
With reports from Anna Anderson, Julienne Lauler, Tyler Sobczak, Bobbie Nickel and Chris Benderev, Bruin contributors.