Spontaneous Tappan Party Celebrates Election

Students celebrate Obama’s re-election at the Tappan Square bandstand Tuesday night. Several jazz majors played in the Tappan Square bandstand to celebrate the results of the election Tuesday night.

William Passannante, Staff Writer

When CNN projected an Obama victory late Tuesday night, the ’Sco exploded. The approximately 100 students in attendance cheered, hugged, screamed, laughed and began belting out the national anthem.

“Everything is better!” said College sophomore Annie Winneg.

The festivities had only just begun. A plastic garbage barrel’s hollow, persistent thumping provided a baseline for the screams and car horns which erupted into the previously quiet night. Packs of cheering people wandered in all directions.

Many of these people — some students, some not — converged on Tappan Square. For at least an hour and a half, several hundred people erupted in spontaneous celebration. They hugged, danced, sang, played music, streaked, conga-lined, crowd-surfed, set off fireworks and formed a mosh pit in the bandstand. Many of the revelers appeared intoxicated.

The mood on campus about the election’s outcome had ranged from optimistic to anxious. Although Professor of Politics Paul Dawson predicted, as of 9 p.m., that Obama was “gonna kill” Romney, others expressed less certainty.

KaeliMo Mogg, a sophomore Conservatory student, ate dinner in Dascomb with Fox News election coverage playing in the background. Even though Mogg predicted a “close” Obama victory, Mogg still bet a tray of cookies that Romney would win.
“I’ve been super uneasy, almost to the point where I feel physically ill,” Mogg said, adding that “if the Bush administration hadn’t happened twice, I wouldn’t be this concerned.”

College President Marvin Krislov, who co-hosted the event at the ’Sco, played it safe, saying only that, “It’s gonna be hotly contested.”

At the polls in Philips Gymnasium, 22 workers had been on-site since 5:30 a.m. and would likely remain until about 8:30 p.m., said Margie Woodrun, a housewife-turned-voting technician. Although the polls stood largely empty on Tuesday evening, one of Woodrun’s colleagues said that, as of 6:30 p.m., 1,439 people had voted there.

“It was huge this morning, huge,” Woodrun said.

She said that at 6:30 a.m. the line had stretched out the door.

Poll workers were not the only people likely looking forward to a break. Even before any major network called the presidential race, students expressed relief that the campaign process was finally drawing to a close.

Nick Miller, president of the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians, stepped outside Agave, where he was watching the results come in.

“It’s like watching paint that’s been dried for two years,” he said.

Though Miller referred to Romney as his “horse in the race,” he found both major candidates unsatisfying. Miller, who cited George Carlin’s argument that autoerotic stimulation is more productive than voting, did not vote.

“I’m just watching ‘not good’ happen,” Miller said.

As the night progressed, however, the campus seemed to think the opposite —especially when the prevailing tension broke in Tappan Square.

Eric Fischer, one of the team leaders for Obama for America on campus, held aloft “Super Obama,” a life-size cardboard cutout of a Superman-like figure sporting Obama’s face.

Students gathered around Super Obama’s feet chanting “four more years,” “free birth control” and “we want vaginas,” among other rallying cries.

The gathering went well past one in the morning — never mind that many present presumably had to attend class the following morning.