WKU reacts to Obama’s re-election

Henderson freshman Benquil Marigny and Gloria-Mychelle Akakpo, 18, of Louisville, react after seeing state results appear for the 2012 presidential election. A large number of WKU students gathered in the auditorium at Downing University Center to watch live election coverage.

While the nation watched President Barack Obama win a second term, WKU students did their part in voting — some of them for the first time.

Louisville junior Nate Allen, a first-time presidential voter, said he chose Obama over Republican candidate Mitt Romney because he believed in Obama’s agenda.

“I agreed more with his social agenda as well as his economic agenda in terms of more social programs rather than just cutting social programs and not cutting the military,” Allen said. “I also believe that the upper class of this country should pay a higher share of taxes than what they do, and I believe that progressivism is the way that we can achieve this.”

Allen said although he thought the president would get re-elected, he didn’t believe it would be by such a wide margin.

“I thought it would be a much closer race,” Allen said. “I mean, it was a really close race in terms of the Electoral College, but I didn’t think he would win Florida and Virginia. But I was very happy that the president won re-election.”

In Bates Runner Hall, groups of students gathered in any room they could find a TV, regardless of the owner’s political views.

Sophomores Joe Starks of Lexington, Matt Lawson of La Grange, and Elizabeth Gribbins of Louisville, sought to create a “bipartisan friendly” atmosphere in Lawson’s room in Bates.

Lawson and Starks both identify as more conservative, while Gribbins said she’s “unashamedly Democratic.”

In terms of getting along despite political differences, the trio said it relies on keeping calm and keeping things light.

“We give each other such a hard time about this stuff,” Lawson said. “But we don’t ever get mad at each other.”

“At least you all are respectful about it,” Gribbins added.

Gribbins said her first voting experience was one she doesn’t regret at all.

“I am very excited to see President Obama in office for four more years,” she said. “Although my vote doesn’t count much in Kentucky, it’s still so important to make your voice heard because you never know who will listen.”

After Obama was predicted the winner, students at Pearce Ford Tower rallied together in front of the building.

Louisville sophomore Shaun Thornton said there was never really a time while watching the coverage that he got nervous about the outcome of the election.

“I mean, I got confidence, as long as you pray and believe in God, everything’s going to work out,” Thornton said.

Nashville junior Keyahanna Alexander said she was definitely an Obama supporter. She came to celebrate the victory at PFT even though she lives off campus. Alexander said she was very happy to see Obama win.

“This is just something that’s just really amazing,” Alexander said. “It’s something that we needed as college students — as young people.”

Not all of the reactions to the results were positive. A Twitter account called “WKU Frat Life” tweeted, “Those ignorant mutants are celebrating bc they don’t have to work again. They just sold the freedoms of America for a handful of food stamps.”

Nine others retweeted the statement from the anonymous account.

Minton Hall residents crammed around the lobby’s TV and tuned into CNN while checking Facebook and Twitter for further updates.

Fort Benning, Ga., sophomore Anna Nuckols was in the Minton lobby, feeling the tension enough to need a smoke break.

Nuckols said politically she is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” and voted for President Obama.

She said she hopes the WKU population that voted were well-informed, but knows that’s not always the case.

“I think there are a lot of informed students on campus, but I also think there are always people who think they should vote for people based on the general opinion of people around them,” she said.