Polarized Communities come Together for Election Watch Party

On November 6th, election day, SLU’s Political Science department held an election night watch party in the CGC.

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Polarized Communities come Together for Election Watch Party

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Held the evening of the midterm elections, the Political Science department invited all SLU students to watch the national election results all evening. The department supplied pizza and drinks for all attendees. Students sat at tables or in the bleachers in the back of the CGC and watched CNN on the projected screen, while the results from the races for the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and many governors’ races were called.

CNN was projected onto the screen in the Huh auditorium and students hung out with friends while watching the vote counts come in in real time.

SLU Sophomore Mallory Galemore, who came to the watch party said, “The event was great because I really enjoyed being able to watch and discuss the election with friends.”

There were also many on campus groups represented at the watch party as well. Many groups including College Democrats, College Republicans, Political Science Club, Amnesty International, and Rainbow Alliance, tabled at the event, discussing political issues with students and promoting their missions. Many groups used the event to advertise to students wanting to get more politically involved.

Different academic groups from the College of Arts and Sciences also came to talk to students about taking classes in Political Science and International Studies and stressed the importance of being knowledgeable voters.

SLU sophomore Jacob Cunningham, who attended the watch party, said he thought it was great how much students got into the spirit of the night.

“I really enjoyed the event and I could definitely feel a good deal of student investment in the elections,” said Cunningham

SLU Senior Brenna Salen, who came to the watch party representing College Democrats, said she appreciated the diversity of the student attendees.

“There was a wonderful blend of beliefs and ideologies there and I thought that was awesome,” said Salen.

The night was tense and exciting for a lot of Politically Active students, and cheers broke out after races were called for both sides.

The event was more than just watching numbers on a screen however. During the event, Political Science faculty members hung out and walked around talking with students and discussing the elections, and halfway through the night, Political Science Professor Dr. Steve Rogers, who was the main host of the event, took the stage to discuss the importance of the election, and what some of the outcomes and consequences of the election results could be.

SLU Senior Jake Shaw said, “So often because elections get bogged down by partisanship to have Professor Rogers on stage explaining the process and analysis was very useful to talk about what could happen going forward.”

Cunningham agreed, “One of my favorite parts was when Dr. Rogers gave a fun and informative presentation on the elections, how they may play out and what the results could mean for the future.”

Assistant Director for Service Learning, Leah Sweetman, who works on SLU’s campus to promote voter turnout and registration, among many other projects, also gave a short speech, where she discussed the importance of being politically active no matter what the election outcomes were. She reminded students that it was important to continue to work and participate in political activism.

The Political Science department offered free snacks, sodas, and pizza to the attendees and students were also able to enter their names in a drawing to win an Apple Watch, which was drawn and awarded at the end of the evening.

The event continued well into the night, as students waited to hear the outcomes of the elections in their home states, with the elections in Missouri not being called until after 9pm. Many students stuck it out until the end, watching the returns on tv and also looking them up on their laptops at the same time.

SLU Senior Paige Cook said that she thought the event was well run and that it was great to see so many people there.

“I think Professor Rogers did a great job organizing the event,” said Cook.

Cunningham agreed, saying, “I found the event perfectly suited for engaging young voters and doing so in a positive and lively way.”