Experiencing the Election | Campus & Student Life

http://csl.uchicago.edu/feature/experiencing-election

NOVEMBER(7,(2012 By#Sarah#Galer#and#Rhianna#Wisniewski Photos#by#Jason#Smith As(Americans(waited(to(learn(the(outcome(of(the(2012(presidential(election,(more(than(700(University(of(Chicago(students(of(all political(stripes(gathered(on(Nov.(6(to(watch(election(night(results(trickle(in. Some(were(international(students(observing(the(American(political(process(with(fresh(fascination.(Others(were(conservative(and liberal(students(who(turned(out(in(large(numbers(to(the(main(events(at(the(Reynolds(Club(and(the(School(of(Social(Service Administration.(Both(events(were(designed(to(welcome(a(variety(of(perspectives,(which(for(many(students(was(the(whole(point(of(the evening. “I(don’t(have(a(strong(political(background,(so(I(wanted(to(get(other(people’s(input,”(explained(Sonja(Khan,(AB’12,(about(why(she decided(to(attend(the(Reynolds(Club(event. College(students(spread(word(quickly(about(the(event,(sponsored(by(the(University’s(nonRpartisan(Institute(of(Politics,(the(Office(of the(Reynolds(Club(and(Student(Activities,(UChicago(Dining,(University(Communications,(and(Campus(and(Student(Life.(For(the Institute(of(Politics,(the(night(continued(a(successful(season(of(engaging(students(in(political(dialogue,(beginning(with(programming linked(to(the(first((http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2012/10/12/firstRinstituteRpoliticsReventRyearRdebutsRpackedRhouse)((and(third
(http://csl.uchicago.edu/feature/debatewatchR2012)((presidential(debates.

"As(was(the(case(with(the(presidential(debates,(we(see(political(events(as(prime(learning(opportunities(for(UChicago(students, especially(if(the(students(are(able(to(gather(and(interact,”(said(Darren(Reisberg,(executive(director(of(the(Institute(of(Politics.(“We(at the(Institute(of(Politics(are(thrilled(to(be(able(to(facilitate(those(types(of(interactive(experiences.”( Students(at(the(Reynolds(Club(said(they(came(for(many(reasons(—(to(be(part(of(an(energizing(event,(join(friends,(have(discussions, take(a(study(break(and,(of(course,(to(eat.( “I’m(here(for(the(atmosphere(and(to(celebrate(politically,”(said(Rachel(Corrigan,(a(secondRyear(political(science(student.(“I’m(here(for the(views,(free(food(and(the(really(exciting(atmosphere.” The(Reynolds(Club(event(featured(three(viewing(rooms:(a(large(nonRpartisan(viewing(area(in(Hutchinson(Commons(and(additional gathering(spaces(for(viewers(supporting(specific(parties.(A(TV(in(the(corridor(between(rooms(displayed(students’(Twitter(posts(on(the election(in(real(time.(Party(decorations(and(streamers(filled(the(rooms,(with(the(rightRleaning(McCormick(Tribune(Lounge(notably featuring(lifeRsized(cutouts(of(Republican(candidates(Mitt(Romney(and(Paul(Ryan.(Students(in(Reynolds(Club(were(decked(out(in candidate(TRshirts,(pins(and(stickers,(while(others(opted(for(more(generally(patriotic(gear.( “Today,(of(all(days,(this(is(where(you(want(to(be,(even(during(midterms,”(said(secondRyear(political(science(student(Tanvi(Mango.(“I enjoyed(the(partisan(viewing.(It(was(more(intense.(This(is(a(nice(forum(for(political(discussions.” As(the(night(progressed(and(more(results(came(flooding(in,(cheers(were(heard(from(the(two(partisan(rooms(as(states(were(called(for their(candidates.(But(students(also(came(together,(visiting(partisan(rooms(for(food(and(conversation.( “This(event(promoted(healthy(discourse,”(said(Adiba(Matin,(a(secondRyear(in(the(College.(“It(feels(incredible(to(know(that(I(played(a part(in(it.” Students(praised(the(Institute(of(Politics,(launched(in(January(2012,(for(the(numerous(events(they(have(held(on(campus(around(the

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Experiencing the Election | Campus & Student Life

http://csl.uchicago.edu/feature/experiencing-election

election(process. “The(campus(was(somewhat(lacking(a(forum(through(which(students(could(engage(with(politics,”(said(Jen(Berger,(a(fourthRyear(public policy(student(in(the(College.(“The(Institute(of(Politics(fills(that(void.” The(inaugural(director(of(the(nonRpartisan(Institute(will(be(David(Axelrod,(AB’76((http://www.uchicago.edu/features/20120119_axelrod/)(, who(was(a(strategist(for(President(Obama’s(successful(reRelection(campaign.(With(the(election(over,(Axelrod(plans(to(formally(join(the Institute(in(January. Fanele(Chester,(a(fourthRyear(from(Swaziland(who(is(studying(romance(languages(and(literature,(said(the(evening(embodied(much(of what(drew(her(to(the(United(States(and(the(University(of(Chicago.(While(she(conceded(that(the(American(political(model(is(not perfect,(she(praised(the(free(and(open(debate(evident(at(events(like(the(election(night(gathering.( “You(say(whatever(you(want(here,”(Chester(said.(“There(is(no(mystery(around(power(in(the(U.S.”(Although(political(debates(can(be rancorous,(she(said,(that(honesty(is(preferable(to(the(fear(that(pervades(politics(in(many(countries.( “I’m(at(the(University(of(Chicago,(where(the(president(was(in(his(neighborhood(tonight,”(Chester(said.(“This(is(the(best(place(to(be(at this(time(in(American(history(as(a(student.” (

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