Campus Reacts to Election Results

Nikaya Johnson

November 8, 2012

Many Cheyney University students eagerly watched the televised returns for the 2012 Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 6th.  Students and staff gathered around television sets all across campus, including in Emlen and the New Residence Halls.

“I shared it with the first year students and most of the students are first-time voters,” said New Residence Hall Assistant Director, Karen Smith-Dike, who works closely with students on a daily basis.   “Some of the students and I walked to the polls and voted together.”  She sat right along with her residents in the lobby lounge Tuesday night to witness history.   Smith-Dike admits that she “cried” when she heard the newscaster announce that Democrat Barack Obama, America’s 44th President, had been re-elected for a second term.

Getting out the vote was strongly supported on campus.  Keystone Honors Academy students organized a voter registration drive as their fall project, resulting in 530 new registered voters. Student Government Cooperative Association, Inc. (SGCA) President Ahn-yea Graham, a junior from Chester, PA, said many students felt that their voice could not be heard because they were still in school. "However, we explained that college students play a huge part in the election and we should exercise the right to vote that our ancestors fought endlessly for."

KHA Dean, Dr. Tara Kent, played a huge role in making sure that students on campus had rides to the polls on Election Day.   Poll workers at the nearby Thornbury Township building said that they’d never seen so many Cheyney students come out to vote.  Freshman Patrice Roulhac, a first-time voter, was one of them. “It feels good to know that my vote counted and that President Obama was re-elected for a second term.  My voice was heard.”

SGCA, Inc. Corresponding Secretary Desmond King said Tuesday was a historic day for him.  “This was my first time to ever vote,” admitted the junior Business Administration major.   He watched the returns come in from the New Residence Hall Lounge and said it was emotional.  “Voting is truly important,” King remarked.  “It lets us express our thoughts and rights.”

President Obama’s win was announced after Ohio’s results came in and it became clear that he had the 270 electoral votes to win and that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would not be able to secure enough electoral votes.  Florida’s results are still being counted as of this writing.

Dr. Bradley Buchner, Chair of Cheyney’s Social & Behavioral Sciences department says higher education should be on the top of President Obama’s agenda.  “It is, in my opinion, criminal to allow our young people to graduate college deeply in debt,” he said.  “Obama has taken some steps to alleviate this—but more needs to be done.  We cannot remain competitive in the world without this.”