It was a night for beers, cheers, and tears.Castleton students gathered en masse into the cramped but cozy quarters of Huden’s Spartan Room for a special Presidential Election “Pub Night” on Nov. 4., hoping to partake in what would ultimately become a monumental event in American history.
Students began filing into the Spartan Room around 10 p.m. and quickly brought the event to a standing room only capacity. Pizza and other refreshments, including alcohol, were served as jazzy tunes echoed throughout the dimly lit room. Students chattered and casually mingled away through the 10 o’clock hour.
But at 11 p.m., the focus of those in the room shifted to the large, flat panel, television screen that adorned one of the Spartan Room walls. The words on the screen sparked the room into an eruption of pandemonium and clamorous joy.
“Barack Obama Elected President.”
Students leapt out of their chairs, screaming hoots and hollers of happiness. Beer glasses were raised and rounds of high-fives and hugs swept through the crowd. The roar of uniform hand clapping sent thunderous reverberations through the tables and chairs in the room.
Some students cried through their glowing smiles, dabbing away their tears with table napkins. Others immediately hopped on their cell phones and dialed up those they held dearest — or those they felt like gloating to.
Anonymous shouts of “we don’t suck anymore!” and “thank you God!” also summed up the collective opinion of most of those in attendance.
“This is unreal,” said Castleton student Julian R. DeFelice.
“Obama is the shiznit,” said senior Jerome Wortman as he raised his beer to the gods of politics.
Kyle Ellis, whose gaze rarely broke from the television as he sat quiet and collected throughout the evening, spoke softly – and realistically — about his faith in an Obama Administration.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out,” Ellis said. “The question is how are we going to move forward now?”
While students of all faiths and several faculty of all trades seemed to bask in the events of the evening, one demographic seemed notably absent: McCain supporters.
Castleton student Alison Welch offered up what could have potentially been a reason for the lack of republican supporters at the event.
“I think both (political) sides were really worried about the outcome of this election,” Welch said. “I was surprised to see how divided some of my friends were. I thought they had similar beliefs.”
But the potential backlash from some of her republican-supporting friends didn’t seem to bother Welch too much on this night.
“I wish I was home in California to celebrate this with my democrat friends and family,” she said.
Castleton senior Tirzha Osmun sat happily teary-eyed and in disbelief, as if the election results could somehow have been nothing more than a mean-spirited joke – too good to be true.
Osmun heavily praised the election of Obama — jumping and clapping and crying at once — adding that it has reaffirmed her faith in America, while also renewing a precious value she lost several years ago – hope.
“I’ve been waiting for this since September 11, 2001,” Osmun said, adding that she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder shortly thereafter. “I couldn’t imagine having hope for our world after that.”
“But now I do,” she said.