Students react to historic moment

“You know, I started crying,” Roy Johnson, a College alumnus, said to a friend over his cellphone Tuesday night, minutes before Sen. Barack Obama’s victory speech.

He added that tomorrow, he’ll be purchasing every copy of every newspaper he can get his hands on to commemorate this historic election.

Johnson’s sentiment was echoed by many throughout the College campus as news spread of Obama’s victory.

Lynette Barnes Jr., junior psychology major, said Obama’s victory conveyed a message of hope to the nation.

“Yes, we can change the world,” Barnes said. “We almost threw stuff through the windows, but people would think we were Republicans,” she laughed.

Barnes had to raise her voice over the numerous shouts of joy that echoed throughout the Brower Student Center. She aimed her camera at the TV screen hanging above the Information Desk, documenting every second of the ground-breaking occasion.

Outside the Student Center, students shouted for Obama from the sidewalks between Packer and Eickhoff Halls.

Meanwhile, the College Democrats hosted a victory party in the Travers/Wolfe main lounge, where approximately 100 people had gathered. Prior to Obama’s appearance on the massive TV screen erected in the lounge, Jarell Daniely, senior mechanical engineering major, burst in and let out an exuberant cheer.

The crowd reciprocated, and chants of “Obama, Obama,” began to reverberate throughout the room. Silence fell over the hot, crowded room as Obama began to deliver his speech.

Their enthusiasm wasn’t shared by all members of the College community, however. Mike Peters, secretary of the College Republicans, said he had concerns with an Obama presidency.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” he said in a telephone interview while returning from N.J. Senator Leonard Lance’s victory party. Lance was elected to U.S. Congress in District 7.

“Of course, we are going to respect Obama as our president,” Peters said. “I hope he can bring the country forward.”

Peters said Republicans will have to double their efforts, having lost both control of the White House and Congress. His primary concerns were with Obama’s economic and diplomatic policies.

“He’s easily the most inexperienced president we’ve ever elected,” Peters said. “I think the country did a very dangerous thing today.”

Mitchell Berman, freshman math major, disagreed.

“I think it’s time for a change,” Berman said at the victory party in the T/W lounge. However, Berman projected that Obama will not be a president without fault.

“I always respected McCain,” he said, citing his record of military service and experience in government.

Regardless, Berman said he was optimistic about Obama’s effectiveness as president.

He said, “I’m excited to see what (Obama will) bring the country in the next four years.”