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Ohio Union watch party draws bipartisan crowd

Kayla Byler / Lantern reporter

Students erupted into cheers, which gave way to chants of “four more years” and ended with “O-H-I-O” as news broke that President Barack Obama was re-elected.
More than 300 students and faculty gathered at Woody’s Tavern in the Ohio Union at an election watch party hosted by the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council, with the Politics, Society and Law Scholars and OSU Votes.
“We wanted to create an open space where students and faculty could come and watch the election results,” said Hannah Vidmar, president of the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council.
Tables in Woody’s quickly filled up at about 7 p.m. Tuesday and extra chairs were brought in, still leaving some people sitting on the floor.
Students cheered when major news networks declared Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Obama as winning individual states, as well was when polls closed in Ohio.
Several students jeered amid a majority of cheers when the re-election of Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown was announced.
Smaller televisions in Woody’s showed different national and local news networks, as well as a U.S. Electoral College map. A large screen in the center of the room projected CNN’s election coverage.
Short speeches from Steven Huefner, Terri Enns and Anne Ralph, professors at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, were intermittent throughout the evening.
CNBC broadcast several live segments from the party and television crews from 10TV filmed students’ reactions to election results.
Megan Sharpe, a third-year in anthropological sciences, said she attended the event to be with people who share her political beliefs.
“I didn’t feel like watching with my roommate because she’s of a different party,” she said.
Sharpe said she found out about the event through her involvement in Arts Scholars.
The John Glenn Civic Leadership Council, the Politics, Society and Law Scholars, and OSU Votes collaborated to create an election season calendar of events culminating in the watch party, Vidmar said.
The aim of these events was to “make it as easy as possible to get students involved,” said Alfred Yates, co-chair of OSU Votes. “If you build it, they will come.”
“Whether the person we voted for is in office or not, we played our role in voting,” Yates said.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, Obama led Ohio with 50 percent and Romney trailed with 48 percent.

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