More than 50 students huddled around the TV in the SUB in anticipation of the final election results Nov. 4. Some Crusaders were disapointed by the Republican party loss, while others celebrated the announcement of the new President-elect, Barack Obama.
Sophomore public relations major Angel Bell, a supporter of Obama, was among those marking the victory.
“I cannot believe this,” she said. “Now I really feel like I can do anything. Now I can look at my kids … and tell them they can do anything and mean it.”
According to CNN’s analysis, the 47-year-old first term senator’s agenda for change gained a wide spectrum of supporters across the nation. Obama beat Sen. John McCain 365-162 in the Electoral College, while gaining 53% of the popular vote to McCain’s 46%.
Senior Carlton Lemley was ecstatic about the results.
He said, “It feels like a dream has come to fruition. I said in 2004 ‘this man will be president’ when he gave a speech at the DNC.”
Lemley said he has faced opposition because of his political views.
“It feels like the divisions that fostered a partisan attitude towards me can begin to be healed,” he said. “I’m not mad at Republicans.”
Under Obama, America will see a new face representing the nation, and the country will undergo various transformations.
Senior Jeremy Williams looks forward to the changes.
“This election is not something that will be talked about for the next four years or … for three or four generations. This is an infinite marker in history,” he said, “Martin Luther King was right: The progress does take time. Some people are ready. Some people are not. I am ready.”
Annie Ferguson, a cashier for Sodexho, the university’s food management services, said she is proud that Obamawas elected the president because it tells her grandchildren that despite the color of their skin, they have the opportunity to become whatever they want.
“Because Barack is our first African-American president,” she said, “it opens the doors to all other nationalities.”
Others placed an em-phasis on Obama’s policies rather than his race.
“Not only am I ecstatic because Barack is black, but I feel he is the better choice to deal with the social and economical issues of middle-class citizens,” criminal justice major Karon Heckard said.
Heckard said he grew up in the South and has experienced racial bigotry. He is proud to support a black president, who seems willing to take a stance for bridging the gap among various ethnicities.
He said, “Time for a change existed a century ago, but Obama has fulfilled those prayers and those promises of past slaves now deceased. If only they could see this day,” he said.
Chemistry major Law-rence Pride believes the bar was raised.
He said, “There is no longer an excuse for people of my ethnicity. Barack has lifted the spirits of the black race and challenges black men and women to strive.”
In his victory speech Obama said, “Americans are sending a message to the world that we have never been a collection of individuals or red states and blue states. We are the United States of America.”
Obama thanked his family and political team for their support and congratulated the American people for selecting their next president and preserving democracy.
The crowd chanted “yes we can” as Obama listed the things he wants to achieve in his presidency. He also addressed those who voted for his opponent, John McCain.
“I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help, and I will be your president, too.”
After his loss, Sen. John McCain offered support to his opponent.
“Sen. Obama has achieved a great thing for himself, and I applaud him for it,” he said.
McCain also acknowledged Obama’s ground-breaking win as the first African-American president and urged his own supporters to follow this code:
He said, “Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans.”