Across the United States Tuesday night, people came together to watch as the results from the largest voter turnout for Super Tuesday were revealed. At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the campus community joined in celebration with Geneva leaders in the Cellar Pub. As multiple TV screens kept everyone current with the latest results, debate and discussion ensued between students, professors and local politicians, and even a call-in question and answer opportunity with Colleges’ President Mark D. Gearan. With campaign buttons, balloons, streamers, and food for all, the pub filled with interested students discussing politics and the upcoming election.
The event opened with short introductions by Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman, Associate Professor of Political Science Professor DeWayne Lucas, and Political Science Instructor Andrew Milstein. “Watch for who turns out to vote,” advised Lucas. “Watch how they win, and see what groups support them.” Professors circulated throughout the event: speaking with students and faculty, answering questions, and promoting political discussions.
Geneva’s Mayor Stu Einstein, who wore vintage John F. Kennedy election buttons, was also in attendance and spoke to the crowd. “I think tonight is going to be really interesting,” he said. “No matter who wins the democratic ticket, the country will be making history.”
Phil Beckley, last year’s Republican candidate for Mayor of Geneva, congratulated the students for attending the event. “We need you young folks involved, we need you committed.”
Gearan didn’t let distance keep him from the gathering. He was in Washington, D.C. attending board meetings for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities as well as Corporation for National and Community Service. He phoned in over the loudspeaker to take questions from students. The President of the College Republicans, Lauren Zeitler ’09, expressed much interest in the election as she asked the first question: “What effect will the youth vote play between Obama and Clinton?”
“Young people are turning out in remarkable numbers for these primaries, said Gearan. “People of your generation are out voting and it’s changing the equation and the nation.”
Alexandra Chase ’11 came to the Super Tuesday Pub event because it’s her first year as a registered voter, an occasion she wanted to follow through by watching the outcomes. “I don’t want to throw my vote away,” she said.
The event was sponsored by the President’s Office, Office of Communications, Student Activities, the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, HWS Votes and the Geneva City Mayor’s Office.