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Students rejoice after Obama victory

By Peter Shahin, Daily Staff Reporter
and Sam Gringlas, Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 7, 2012

“Whoever wins will affect the rest of the world as well.”

LSA junior Nick Hill, who concentrates in Middle Eastern studies and political science, said he has kept a special focus on international affairs while following the election.

“I think the rhetoric that Obama shows is better towards the Middle East,” he said. “They look positively toward Obama and they don’t really like the rhetoric Romney shows.”

“The U.S. is a major player in world politics,” Rackham student Ricky Punzalan said. “I feel like if the wrong person gets the job, it will dictate the future of not only the U.S., but the world stage as well.”

When NBC first announced that Obama won re-election, cheers erupted across the room. Students jumped out of their seats, rushing to embrace their fellow supporters with hugs of relief and excitement, or reaching for their phones to compare reactions with friends and relatives.

Across the street, it was difficult to shuffle through the crowd at the State Street Buffalo Wild Wings, where students in the Ford School of Public Policy gathered together to watch the results amid the aroma of teriyaki chicken wings.

At a table in the back of the restaurant, Public Policy senior Matthew Mejia gathered with fellow policy students to await the results. Waitresses bustled in and out to replace plates of wings between cheers for Obama victories.

For Mejia, the electric atmosphere harkened back to the campus excitement of 2008.

“It’s a really exciting night and it’s a really important night,” Mejia said. “You hear the cheers, you hear the boos. If nothing else, you can tell that people care and I think that I think is a really important thing. That is encouraging.”

Nearby, Public Policy graduate student Matt Papadopoulos sported a Romney/Ryan sticker as he took in the results.

“Today is an expression of American democracy,” Papadopoulos said. “Regardless of what happens, the American people had a chance to voice their opinion and I think that’s an important right that we all have and it’s exciting to be able to use that and be apart of that process.”

Papadopoulos said he is curious to see how the Obama administration tackles national issues over the next few years.

"Washington, D.C. has kind of been at a stalemate for the few years," Papadopoulos said. "Ultimately, we elect our officials regardless of party or where they come from — we elect our officials to do things, not to stop doing things. And really, that's something that I would like to see continue happening, regardless of specifically what ideology that might service to.”

— Daily Staff Reporters Tui Rademaker, Danielle Stoppelmann, Stephanie Dilworth and Carly Fromm contributed reporting.

Correction Appended: A previous version of this article said that Proposal 1 passed. It did not.