Cabrini sponsors election viewing

By Kristen Catalanotto and Lauren
November 4, 2004

Cecelia Francisco

On election night, the Widener Lecture Hall played host to what seemed like a Super Bowl Sunday party, but instead was a gathering of students anticipating the results of the presidential election.

Long lines and in some areas of the country, rough weather didn’t stop people from casting their votes for president of the United States. Cabrini students were among those standing in lines at the polls.

The Democratic precinct chairman said, “We had the best turn-out in history. At 7 a.m., the lines went out of the door of the polling place, came up the stairs, went into the library, around the library, came back out the door, went up the steps, and went all the way to Upper Gulph road. It was a two-and-a-half hour wait. And it was incredible because nobody left. We saw an incredible turnout.”

Throughout the months of campaigning, college students were bombarded with catchy slogans to try and encourage them to go out on election day and vote. Celebrities from all over jumped on the campaign band-wagon and sang songs about freedom and the responsibility to get out and vote.

The office of student activities sponsored an election night celebration entitled, “Celebrate America Philly Style.” Jason Bozzone, director of student activities, wanted to make sure that the Cabrini community had a place to go and watch the election together. Bozzone and assistant director of student activities Amy Hecht have been working over the past few months to pull together several different activities to get students involved in the voting process. “Along with SGA, Academic Affairs and the Wolfington Center the office of student activities put together an election campaign to make the students aware of what’s happening,” Bozzone said.

Over 200 students turned out to join in the “Celebrate America Philly Style.” 100 cheessteaks from Pat’s were ordered and were gone within 10 minutes. Students also enjoyed ice cream and pretzels.

Bozzone was very happy with the large turn-out, but urged for students to come to more events held on campus. “We had no idea as to how many people were going to come here. We only ordered food for 100 people. Cabrini students need to be more consistent about coming out to events,” Bozzone said. 50 pizzas were then ordered to accommodate the large amount of students that showed up.

The food was certainly what got the student’s attention. Graphic design major Kristen Traina came to get her first taste of a Pat’s cheesesteak. Cabrini alum Jim Peterson enjoyed the free food, but mainly came to watch the results on the wide screen television.

Psychology major Jenna Kane had more on her mind than food. “I’m here because this election is very important to me because the issues affect myself, my parents and grandparents,” Kane said. For many Cabrini students this is the first major election that they have participated in. “This is the first time I’ve actually sat and watched the coverage and I’m interested to see how it works,” Kane said.

The scene wasn’t very different at the Radnor Hotel where supporters for the democratic candidate showed up to watch the results. Dave Cannan, Seventh Ward Commissioner of Radnor Township, wasn’t happy with the overall election results, but was pleased with the numbers coming out of Radnor. “In the precincts in Radnor Township, it’s estimated that 70-80 percent of the registered voters came out to the polls today. The Democrats in Radnor are very excited because Radnor went for Kerry by 1,100 votes. The turnout also was historical because we had more turnouts than we ever had before,” Cannan said.

Annaka Walsh, an eight year old girl, had an opinion on how President Bush was going to do for a second term as president, “This will all become very bad and he’ll be a very bad president and many people will be killed.”

Villanova students were also out in full force exercising their right to vote. Anne Michelle Higgins, Commissioner for the second ward in Radnor Township said, “In this precinct, we don’t have as many younger students, but the second half of the second ward covers a large portion of Villanova University, and they have been coming out by the bus load to vote.”

Early projections speculated that the youth would be the deciding factor in who becomes the next president. According to MSNBC, the percentage of voters 18-29 years old did not change from the 2000 election, each year the youth represented 17 percent of all voters. MSNBC reporter Joe Scarborough plainly said that he was not surprised that the youth still continues to not vote, “They always leave you at the altar,” Scarborough said.

The recently developed Student Democrat Association fought hard to get the votes out for the Kerry campaign. SDA president Ryan Cox isn’t going to give up on the organization now that the big election is over. “We are still going to promote the three principles that we feel George Bush has taken away from the country and those three principles are respect, pride and diversity and that’s what we stand for and regardless of the election results, that’s what we’re going to keep pushing for,” Cox said.

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

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Kristen Catalanotto and Lauren

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