A front row seat to history

Plenty of GW students are planning to battle the unprecedented inauguration crowds to take advantage of their proximity to the historic events taking place around the city.

Sophomore Kimberly Davis was one of the lucky 240,000 people to win a ticket to the swearing-in ceremony in a lottery from her congressman’s office.

Davis said her entire family plans to visit D.C. for the weekend, but she will take her mom, who she called, “Obama’s number one fan,” along with her to the swearing-in ceremony.

“I am beyond excited, a little nervous because there is so much hype about how crazy D.C. is going to be and how many people will be in town and all the security, but I’m excited to give my mom a chance to experience history,” Davis said. “Although [my mom] was a young girl, she still remembers Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. So it’s cool that I can now experience a celebration of hard work and dedication.”

Though he did not support President-elect Barack Obama in the election, senior Brand Kroeger, chairman of the College Republicans, is planning on braving the crowds to take part in the inauguration festivities. Kroeger said he is participating in the inaugural celebration because it is historic.

“I am excited to witness history,” said Kroeger, a senior. “It’s the first black president of the United States and in the future I am excited to be able to tell my family that I was there.”

Kroeger secured a ticket to the swearing-in ceremony from a friend who won two tickets from a Minnesota congressman.

Sophomores Jason Lifton and Chas Pressner also have tickets to the swearing-in ceremony.

Lifton’s grandfather won two tickets and gave them to him since he could not be in D.C. for inauguration weekend.

Though Lifton and Pressner are not Democrats, they said they are eager to attend the ceremony.

“I may not agree with his vision for America, but I certainly understand the importance of his election,” Pressner said. “I support the president of the United States, until he makes a mistake.”

Other students are using the historic events as a means to turn a profit. Sophomore Nicholas McClure decided he would rather sell his tickets to the GW Inaugural Ball than attend the event himself.

“I had two tickets but sold them for way more than they’re worth,” said McClure, who said his pair of tickets went for $560.

Upon hearing the news of massive road closures, tight security and the swarms of extra visitors who will file through GW’s campus, some GW students decided that leaving D.C. would be the best option.

Junior Phil Bianchi said he will take a trip up to Atlantic City, N.J., for the four-day weekend with a group of friends rather than in town to witness the inauguration.

Like Kroeger, Bianchi is a registered Republican, but said his political beliefs were not the only factor in his decision to leave D.C. for inauguration weekend.

“I’ve been reading articles saying the number of people is going to be outrageous,” Bianchi said. “There were some other factors as well. I voted for the other guy, but it’s just another factor.”

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