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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Tuesday night on Carleton’s campus: after the results

<id not do any homework Tuesday night. And it is my impression that many Carleton students found themselves similarly unmotivated to read fifty pages of poli sci or write a two-page response paper. Instead, I headed to a friend’s room and we flipped between NBC, ABC, and CBS. As minutes ticked by and electoral votes were divvied out, the noise in the hallway steadily increased.

At just after 10 o’clock, when the map was almost completely filled with red and blue and the final projections were announced, the noise in the hallways rose to roar. The atmosphere on campus that came on the heels of the election results was different from anything I have ever experienced at Carleton.

As I left Burton a couple hours later and walked across campus to my room, campus felt different. Anyone who ventured outside, or even happened to have their windows open that night, can attest to this. The first thing I saw when I stepped outside was a crowd of bikers – naked bikers. Cheers and screams filled the air as they rode around campus, cutting across the Baldspot and circling the roundabout in front of Sayles. As naked body after naked body pedaled by me, I couldn’t help but laugh and forget the mild unpleasantness of seeing 30 strangers in the buff. It was not only naked people that were spilling out of dorms.

The unusual warmth of the November night seemed to draw the crowds to venture out. I saw people flowing towards Sayles from all other parts of campus and others gathered on the Baldspot, many in group hugs. It seemed that many of these groups wandered without a specific destination, simply enjoying being surrounded by other boisterous students.

When I got back to my room I continued to hear the celebrations outside. I could hear shouts of “Obamamama!” and “Let’s streak for Obama!” (most impressively, our campus obviously managed to uphold its legacy of nudity en masse, even on election night).

While I was personally overjoyed (to say the least) with the results, what was nearly as moving was the enthralling enthusiasm of my peers. Regardless of which candidate you voted for, we have witnessed a groundbreaking election season. I hope that even if you were disappointed with the results, you can find solace in the fervor for democracy that has swept across the country. With this as the first national election that most of us have participated in, it is hard to imagine taking part in a more historic political event in our lifetimes.

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