Anticipation and excitement permeated the campuses of the Atlanta University Center as students gathered to watch the results of this year’s presidential election.
Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University each held their own watch parties and lock-ins on Election Night.
“I really hope President Obama gets a second term. He stands for good things that everyone would really benefit from, especially us college students,” Spelman College junior, Nini McKinney said early in the evening.
The voter lock-ins were geared toward bringing together the key demographics in this election: young, African-American male and female voters. The Spelman lock-in, which had an intimate setting, was hosted by the Office of Student Life and Engagement and the Spelman Student Government Association.
Prior to the election, students from Spelman College and Morehouse College used an online service to help spread awareness about voter registration and to help those eligible to vote register properly.
Celebrities including Jermaine Dupri, Fonzworth Bentley, Johnta Austin and Bryan-Michael Cox made guest appearances. Local radio station V-103 also broadcasted live from the event.
The Clark Atlanta University students were passionate as coverage from various news stations like CNN and Fox was projected to a large crowd.
The CAU watch party was hosted by Hittsquad Entertainment. Representatives from local media outlets Fox5 and Hot 107.9 were in attendance as well.
Students cheered, danced and sang as results of the president’s victories across the states came in. The crowd groaned when the president was defeated in certain states and became nervous while awaiting the electoral results of states like Ohio and Florida.
“I know Obama has this election. I’m just a little worried because it’s so close. We really can’t tell,” said Clark Atlanta University student Kenneth Appleton.
Others like Deonte Harris began to lose optimism when Mitt Romney gained a slight lead over the president. “It’s looking like Romney might win. I hope not, but he might.”
Students were very engaged throughout the night. The election results were highly anticipated. For many, this was their first time being eligible to vote in a presidential election.
Clark Atlanta was very instrumental in making sure that its students exercised their right to vote. The institution’s president, Dr. Carlton E. Brown, cancelled classes on Election Day. The institution also held a voting poll in its gymnasium. Voter registration boxes were set up prior to Election Day to print out paperwork and assist with the voter registration process.
Brown addressed the students via Skype stating that he was “proud of the success of the event and the dedication of the students to exercise their right to vote.”
The crowd roared as it was announced that President Obama had won the election. Tears of joy were shed as students hugged each other.
“I had faith in Obama. I knew he could do it. This was my first time voting and I feel like I’m a part of history. This is something I will tell my grandchildren about,” said an ecstatic Clark Atlanta student.