University of Delaware
UD students follow the unfolding election results at Election Central in the Trabant University Center.

Election Central

UD students gather in Trabant to watch 2012 election unfold


1:45 p.m., Nov. 7, 2012--University of Delaware students took advantage of the 2012 Election Central event, held in the Multipurpose Rooms of the Trabant University Center from 8-11 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, to watch the national elections unfold.

The Trabant buzzed with excitement as students and members of the campus community visited different media stations and watched returns on a number of screens.

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“I think it’s great — they have all the main channels for news up, even comedy stations, and things you wouldn’t think are related to the election,” Joe Matty, a political science student, said.

Faculty discussed a multitude of topics pertaining to elections and students gathered in masses to hear and learn more. David Wilson, associate professor in UD’s Department of Political Science and International Relations, discussed polling and the bias that comes with it and demonstrated web resources for more accurate polls — he even predicted that the nation would be able to predict the winner by 9:15 p.m. Election Night.

Sean Herron, a chemistry major, came to see how the election turned out and hear some of these speakers. “There is a lot to see and the speakers are very interesting to listen to,” he said.

Ralph Begleiter, director of the Center for Political Communication, put a lot of time into planning this event along with faculty from the departments of Communication and Political Science and International Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The key is the students,” Begleiter said. “It’s always great to see that students are not apathetic about politics — they care about the outcome of elections, policy, and don’t mind having some fun in the midst of it all.”

Begleiter gave a presentation on campaign advertising as 20-plus students gathered around him to listen. “This is the most expensive campaign yet, but the ads are really focused on just a few states,” he explained, comparing the large sums spent on advertising to the significantly smaller amounts spent on travel and other costs that were associated with the campaigns.

The night could not have been possible without the help of the student body. Jonathan Elfers, a freshman in the College of Engineering, supported the event by working the projectors, doing sound checks, operating the lights and providing technical assistance to speakers. “I’ve been helping the presenters get set up. Overall, the event is going well and is pretty organized,” he said.

Students enjoyed UDairy Creamery’s special Stars and Stripes ice cream developed for the event as results were being reported by media outlets across the board. UD’s Student Television Network (STN) was live on the scene broadcasting updates on the election and on the Election Central event, and interviewing speakers as well as attendees.

“This is a really important time in history. Many of us are voting for the first time this year and it’s great that our college is doing something to make it memorable,” Lisa Killary, a senior criminal justice major, said. “I think it’s important to see where this goes — no matter what side you are on.”

A followup event will be a National Agenda presentation on the "Election Aftermath" featuring UD alumni David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Article by Sarah E. Meadows

Photos by Evan Krape

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