After hearing about Obama’s re-election, students rushed out of the Brush Towers to celebrate.
Micheala Greene, a sophomore from Bolingbrook studying social work, said she was happy Obama will be president for four more years.
“I can stay in college now,” she said outside of Grinnell Hall. “I need my Pell Grant, and Romney would take that away from me.”
Greene and Tatyana Nimmers, a sophomore from Peoria studying industrial engineering, said college affordability was a factor in their votes.
“Now we don’t have to become strippers,” Nimmers joked.
The two said the celebration outside the towers was purely that. Police blocked the street outside the towers and at around 11:30 p.m. began to move students away from Grinnell Hall and back to the dormitories.
As local and national election results poured in across the state, people at different viewing parties discussed voter turnout and America’s future.
The SIU Student Center Ballroom housed a viewing party, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Undergraduate Student Government and the Black Togetherness Organization hosted another viewing party in the Grinnell Basement.
Bertille Baron, a graduate student from France studying linguistics, said the political climate is much more different in Europe than it is in the States. She said the U.S. seems to be more conservative than France.
“It is interesting to be here and see the results of the election here,” Baron said. “This will affect the international setting of the country.
Estefania Salgado, a graduate student in Spanish literature from Honduras, said she came to the Student Center’s viewing party because she wanted to learn about the election process.
“I think everyone in the world has their eyes on this election,” Salgado said. “The U.S. has an influence in many places, including Honduras.”
Brice James, a graduate student in higher education from Macomb, helped host the Student Center viewing party. He said there was a good turnout, and the numbers were comparable to the 2008 election.
“We sought to bring together the campus environment for such a big national event,” James said.
He said the Student Center had a media campaign through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to get word out about the viewing party in addition to flyers in support of the student voice and voting system.
Courtney McCalla, a graduate student in higher education from Moline, said she went to the viewing party because her friends were going and she wanted to keep up with the election.
“Every election is important, but as a woman I think it is important to vote and be involved in this election,” McCalla said.
Brittany Greathouse, USG president, and Corbin Doss, USG vice president, were at the Grinnell viewing party to encourage student interest in the political process and inform students about the Electoral College.
“It was a good night and showing,” Doss said. “Since Obama is from Chicago, he serves as a good representative for Illinois.”
Parties for the Jackson County Republicans and Democrats in Murphysboro were held only one block away from each other, but both were packed with constituents.
Mike Bost, representative of the 115th district, said local elections have been very tight and candidates have run aggressive campaigns. Officials watched polls closely to ensure votes were handled properly, he said.
“People are ready for the change,” he said.
Bruce Wallace, Murphysboro 6th precinct committeeperson, said citizens’ enthusiasm was visible across the county.
“Every poll that I’ve been to had either close to or more than double what they normally had in the last election,” he said.
Wallace said a desire to change the Obama administration was the force behind busier polling places.
Michael Barone, Jackson County Democratic Committee chairman, said election results were in his party’s favor around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re feeling better as time goes on,” he said.
Barone said he felt positive about the state’s attorney race, which former assistant U.S. attorney Mike Carr won, and he felt confident about several other local elections.