By Rae Wee
Regardless of political views, one thing that students who turned up for the University of Maryland’s Election Night Watch Party on Nov. 6 could agree upon was the importance of voting and being aware of what is going on in the political scene.
The watch party, organized by TerpsVote, a coalition under the school’s Student Government Association, was held at the atrium in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A live broadcast of the midterm election results on CNN was screened as groups of students streamed in at various times throughout the night.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work on campus the past few months to get students motivated to vote. So we wanted to have an event for student voters to come together as well after the election, kind of like to reflect on the election season and watch the results come in,” Alexandra Marquez, 19, a sophomore journalism and anthropology major who helped organize the event, said.
At the atrium, many students multitasked as they did their work while listening to the results being announced. Others also pulled up tabs on their laptops and observed the statistics of the election results across states.
But the commonality among the students present was the fact that they had returned from voting earlier on in the day.
“To me, voting is everything. It’s the voice that we have as students — if we’re upset about anything that’s going on here on campus, in our local communities, on a state level, and at the national level, voting is how you can go about making change,” Gideon Epstein, 20, a junior government and politics major, said.
Luna Homsi, a senior anthropology major, also added that the act of voting allows individuals to fully exercise their right as a citizen of the country.
“I just think that we’re lucky enough to be here and gaining an education and gaining the tools that we need for the outside world, but we also need the ethical and moral grounding to work in the real world, and part of that is voting,” she said.
As the names of various elected officials were announced, students also broke into cheers and thunderous applause upon hearing the names of the candidates they were rooting for being read out.
“It’s going to be interesting to see the huge shift in the governor’s elections, just to see the potential for the Democrats [in terms of governorship], it’s fairly interesting,” Jela Shiver, 22, a senior government and politics and economics major, said.
Though it was apparent that most students at the event were highly focused on wanting to know the results, some others chose to attend it just with the intention of soaking up the atmosphere of being in a watch party.
“I think it’s really fun to be in a college election watch party — I’ve never been to one yet,” said Mays Rubaye, 23, a junior information science major, said. “It’s just exciting to see how the students react.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sara Karlovitch. Bloc Editor
Rae Wee is a junior journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.