The Continental Ballroom was transformed Friday night into a dimly lit club where about 50 students dressed in red, white and blue attire for Presidential Swagger, an event sponsored the Black Student Union.
The ballroom was topped with decorations that included a large sign, which spelled out “OBAMA” in red, white and blue ribbon. Although the BSU holds at least one party each semester, students said this one is special.
“It’s beyond race,” said BSU Treasurer Shaterra Lee, a junior. “It’s about bringing everybody together in celebration.”
The 40-year-old organization held the event to celebrate the victory of President-elect Barack Obama with students from GW, American, Catholic and other D.C. schools.
“It was a celebration of someone who we felt is fit to lead the country, someone who is in touch with us, not just a black man in office – it’s not the most important aspect,” said BSU President Jordan Chisolm, a junior.
He added, “In the past we felt, especially our generation, that we were put to the background when it was our choice for president.”
Youth voters were behind Obama’s win, Lee said. “The fact that he was able to decisively win and mobilize young people really reaches people.”
The group charged $5 for BSU members and $7 for nonmembers. Funds raised during Friday night’s party will help pay for future BSU activities, such as the Now What Forum on Nov. 19, which will examine issues Obama will face as a president.
As students entered the ballroom, freshman Andre Lamar Smith challenged those celebrating: “Be a catalyst of change like Obama.”