2006 Midterm Elections: Students gather for race results

Two Marvin Center ballrooms were transformed into the “blue room” and the “red room” Tuesday night when students gathered to watch election returns after a day of events celebrating the midterm elections.

GW College Democrats, College Republicans and Program Board sponsored the election festivities. When students in the “blue room” learned that Democrats had gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years at around 11 p.m., shouts of victory from excited students could be heard echoing throughout Kogan Plaza. Inside the Marvin Center, the chant, “Who’s House? Our House!” filled the Continental Ballroom and students stood on chairs and jumped up and down.

CRs Chairman Gary Livacari and Vice Chairman Brand Kroeger allowed CDs President Sean Smith and Vice President Damien Shirley to smash pies in their faces.

Livacari said the results were not unexpected.

“History shows us that the president’s party always loses seats in the off-election year – especially in the president’s second term. Tonight was no exception.”

“We saw many conservative Democrats win House and Senate seats tonight. The Republicans lost Congress, but our principles may have still won the day,” he added.

Smith enjoyed the moment, calling the House win a great victory for the Democratic Party and for the country.

“We look forward to working with the Bush administration to bring America together in forging a new direction for Iraq and in promoting the interests of the American middle class,” Smith said.

Events took place throughout the day on both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campus’ including a barbecue and debate. Many students proudly displayed political party apparel at these events including T-shirts, buttons and stickers.

Sophomore Ainsley Stromberg, director of membership for the CRs sophomore, said her main goal for coordinating the night’s festivities was to “have everyone come together and enjoy why they came to GW.” She talked about the enthusiasm of the night, adding that “Election night here is like the Super bowl at other schools.”

The debate, which took place at 6 p.m. in the Marvin Center, included two representatives each from the CRs and CDs that were asked five questions pertaining to the War in Iraq, gay marriage, the economy, Congressional corruption and social security. The hour-long debate concluded with laughter, boos, outbursts and tense policy questions from the audience.

Following the debates, students enjoyed buffets and prize raffles. Color projectors displayed CNN’s election coverage in the “blue room” for the CDs and Fox News coverage in the “red room” for the CRs.

There was also an assortment of entertainment, including a mechanical Bull “market” at the CRs party and a jousting pit at the CDs party, where both Democrats and Republicans got physical – with inflatable lances.

Junior Ellen Bradshaw said students are the ones who will be most affected by this election’s results.

Bradshaw said, “We’re the ones who have to live with the decisions in Iraq and the economy.”

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