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Students track results at SPEC event

The Leung Gallery in the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center normally inspires a strict code of silence - even heavy footsteps can draw angry glares during a midterms week. But on election night, the space pulsed with excited anticipation as it played host to the Special Event Committee's ReSPECt the Exec event.

Lines of patriotically clad students snaked out the door and event officials were forced to turn people away as the room threatened to exceed fire code limits.

Those in attendance were treated to a slew of all-American favorites - macaroni and cheese, apple pie and patriotic popsicles were all among the offerings. But the event drew students as much for the sense of community it offered as the election night delicacies.

Students pumped fists and erupted in gleeful cheers as the results were announced through the night. The large number of first-time voters made for a particularly high-energy environment.

"It's nice to have my first election experience in college be with a bunch of other people who are really excited about it," said Paul Martin '16.

But the event's atmosphere, though officially non-partisan, was not pleasing to all of its attendees.  

Republican Pranay Bose '16 said he had to leave early out of frustration. Watching the results come in at the event was "better than watching in my room by myself," he said. But "the smugness was a little too much."

Food supplies eventually ran short, but most students remained on the edge of their seats and fixed to the screens.

"I'm pro-Obama. I'm optimistic," said Eliana Greenberg '13. "But I'm not going to sleep until I can feel confident."

"I'm here soaking up the atmosphere," said Myron Lam '15, an international student. "It's actually closer than I thought it would be. I might leave and come back near the results." 

Students hailing from critical swing states had a lot to be nervous about.

"It's incredibly close and incredibly stressful," said Stacy Bartlett '14, an Ohio resident. "Apparently, it's unbearable to watch TV or listen to the radio or anything like that (back home)."

But as networks began to project an Obama victory at approximately 11:30 p.m. last night, students poured onto the Main Green from all sides in a rush of impromptu merry-making, seizing the moment as one of pure celebration.

Screaming, embracing and streaking students alike came together to celebrate the news. Chants of "four more years" echoed through the biting night air, and the Brown Derbies burst out in patriotic song at Wayland Arch.


­- With additional reporting by Caroline Flanagan, Phoebe Draper and Tom Sullivan



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