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WSSU hosts election viewing party 'My president is Black'...again

By Maurika Smutherman
On December 4, 2012

  • AP Photo). President Barack Obama

More than 400 Winston-Salem State students filled Dillard Auditorium to capacity Nov. 6, as they watched Barack Obama win a second term as president.
The viewing party was presented by Campus Activities and the Voter Registration Education Committee.
Chelii Broussard, marketing and promotions coordinator for Campus Activities, said the purpose of the viewing party was to provide a safe place for students to watch the election results.
"After Obama won [four years ago] students kind of took over the streets," Broussard said.
"This time, we decided we needed to have a viewing party in a safe environment where students could be together."
Throughout the evening, students watched CNN and listened to political experts offer predictions of the election.
Food was provided across the hall in the McNeil Ballroom. To receive food students were asked to bring "food tickets" -- the door hangers that were placed in their residence halls.
Earlier this semester, the committee also presented viewing parties for the presidential and vice-presidential debates as well as forums for students to discuss politics.
"One of the biggest things is for the students to be a part of something that's historical," Broussard said.
"Win or lose with Obama, win or lose with Romney, the main thing is for the students to be more politically aware."
Broussard said this is the first year a Voter Registration Education Committee was formed on campus.
"We wanted to bring students together that could help us do voter registration in a non-partisan way,"she said.
"After Obama or Romney wins there are still other policies that students need to discuss and know about for the next four years."
She said the viewing party gave students a place to have conversations they typically would not have in their dorms.
"We were so excited, screaming each time Obama won a state," said Amber Edwards, junior, psychology major from Charlotte.
"It was nerve racking at first because the numbers were so close, and I really wanted Obama to win," Edwards said.
Edwards said that although she was nervous in the beginning, she became confident toward the end of the party that Barack Obama would be re-elected.
The students watched the screen as Obama won critical states -- Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and New
Hampshire and 50 percent of the popular vote.
The election viewing party ended at 11 p.m., before the final results were broadcast.

"Even though it [viewing party] ended early, I still had a great time," Edwards said.
Despite Broussard's hopes to provide a safe viewing place for election results, students stormed the campus once again in celebration of Obama's victory.
After CNN announced its prediction of Obama's win at 11:20 p.m., students began parading the campus, chanting "My president is Black" as they marched to a WSSU landmark, the Clock Tower.
"It was the best celebration this campus has ever experienced," Edwards said.
Edwards said the celebration for President Obama's victory was greater than WSSU's homecoming celebration.
Broussard said she hopes students will be more informed about politics after attending the political events hosted on campus.
"For me, hopefully, it [the  experience] will help them [students] to understand that four more years from now when it's time [to vote again] they can educate their children, they can educate their parents, their community and coworkers," Broussard said.
Edited by DaYona McLean

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