After months of voter registration, rallies, protests and a number of celebrity political speakers such as filmmaker Michael Moore and rapper P. Diddy, Election Day 2004 left its mark on Temple University.
With Philadelphia’s vote strongly in favor of John Kerry, it is no surprise that a large group of students were very upset by his defeat. There seemed to be a quiet mourning throughout campus as students reflected over Bush’s victory while others inwardly cheered.
“I’m really disappointed. It hasn’t hit me yet; I’m flabbergasted,” said sophomore Eleni Solomos. “I really thought Kerry would pull through, especially since there was so much support for him around campus and in Philadelphia.”
Freshman Dorie Heyer was also upset by the results of the election. “I really had more hope in the intelligence of the American people,” she commented.
“You would think that people would have learned over the past four years to pick a better leader,” added freshman Loniese Jones.
Despite what seemed like a day of mourning for many, Wednesday was also a day of celebration for a number of students.
“It definitely shows that it wasn’t just one group that wanted Bush to win, it was a majority of people from different areas. I wasn’t surprised by the outcome,” beamed freshman Peter Meischeid.
Freshman Brian Modo agreed: “The country was not fooled by Kerry’s false agenda and promises. He promised things that couldn’t be done. He spent too much time attacking Bush and not enough time on his own agenda.”
Nicole Patterson, a freshman, applauded both candidates for their efforts.
“I am excited that Bush won, but I got to watch Kerry’s speech and I thought he did a very nice job. I liked how he said we need to unify and that every vote will be counted.”
Despite the large divide in attitude near the outcome of the election, there are students who have had different post-election reactions. Jermaine K. Hadaway, who was wearing a “Vote or Die” shirt on November 3, was grieving for a different reason.
“I am just disappointed that the youngest voting age, ages 18-34, is still represented by only 17 percent. It should have been doubled since the 2000 election. Young voters either didn’t register this year, registered and didn’t vote, or didn’t return to vote after the 2000 election.”
Caitlin Shelley, a sophomore was one of these young people who chose not to vote this year.
“I didn’t vote because I don’t care about either candidate. I would have preferred Kerry to win, but it wasn’t a big enough difference for me to get me out to the polls.”
Ciarra Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.