TCU students react to election outcome, host watch parties


TCU students of all political affiliations organized watch parties for the 2012 presidential election Tuesday night. 

Campus organizations such as Young Americans for Liberty, TCU NAACP and residence halls like Milton Daniel gathered together to watch the results.

For many students, it was the first time to vote in a presidential election.

Freshman biology major Austin Green said he thought the campus leaned toward a republican viewpoint, but noted the student body was more split compared to other universities in Texas.

Freshman Wyatt Harris said he thought the student body had a mixture of people with different viewpoints.

“I’ve met people who are an extreme democrat or extreme republican, people who are unsure and who vote split card, some straight card,” he said. “I definitely think it’s a very diverse campus." 

When it was announced President Barack Obama was re-elected, Green said he was shocked by the reaction of the room at the Milton Daniel Hall watch party. 

“The results come out, and it was just dead silence,” he said. “It was like, ‘Well this is kind of awkward,’ but I was kind of expecting that.”

Although Green disagreed with the majority of the room, he said he thought the university as a whole was an informed campus full of political activism, especially in Milton Daniel Hall.

“There’s a lot of political energy that sparks from events like [the watch party] and it really inspires students [to participate in the election],” he said. 

From the time Texas polls closed at 7 p.m. until the early hours of the morning, students at the TCU NAACP watch party kept up with news coverage of the election.

Sophomore broadcast journalism major Mequilla Powell attended the TCU NAACP watch party. She said she watched the polls from the beginning of the night and expected the race to remain close the whole time.

According to the Huffington Post, voters ages 18 to 29 represented 19 percent of total votes Tuesday. In the sample, Obama received 60 percent of votes while Mitt Romney received 36 percent.

Powell said she thought the participation of young voters was a large factor in the election results, and the involvement of informed, first time voters was crucial to the future of the country.

 “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to because I’m a first time voter; not only that, but this is what’s going to happen for the next four years, so that’s why I’m out here today [at the watch party],” she said.

Junior biology and philosophy double major Michelle Harrell attended the same watch party. She said the atmosphere of the room was exciting and relieving when Obama was declared president.

Harrell said she felt compelled to attend the event because of the sense of community it brought to everyone there.

“Anyone could have watched at home, but it’s better to be around friends and to just see that we all supported the same person,” she said. 

Despite varying opinions on the outcome, students at each watch party said they were proud to have been a contributing factor to the election.

“It was pretty unique (voting for the first time),” Harris said. “I feel like my vote hopefully did make a difference.”

“I felt like I was somebody,” Harrell said. “I was able to voice my opinions and know that I actually mattered.”

“Knowing that I did vote, I did make a difference, I do have a voice, I am a part of this history, it feels pretty good,” Powell said.