Around 10 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 20, students began the slow but sure trickle into the Post lobby for the Union Board-sponsored viewing of the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States. By 10:40 a.m., Post lobby was nearly full of students and staff, watching first as Joe Biden was sworn in as vice president and then, shortly after, watching the swearing in of Barack Obama as president.
For many students class did not matter, nor homework, though some sat on couches in the lobby half an hour before the inauguration ceremony commenced with homework on their laps. More than sixty students sat intensely, saying things like “it’s only a half an hour until we have a new president.” Upon Biden’s swearing in, senior Joey Firman said, “We’re halfway there.”
Many students laughed any time they saw even a two-second screen shot of Bush’s face on the T.V., and almost everyone in Post lobby stood up, as did all the people in Washington D.C., when Obama was sworn in.
“I’m confused between my anarchist convictions and this newfound urge for nationalist unity and a heartfelt and newfound appreciation for the American Dream,” said sophomore Abraham Diekhans-Mears, following President Obama’s speech.
“It’s the first time I felt like standing for the national anthem in a really long time,” said senior Rachael Goodman-Williams, “and it’s nice to be able to feel like ‘yay America’ for the first time in my politically-aware life.”
Not all students were widely hopeful or impressed by the new president. Senior Will Gallmeyer, who watched the inauguration ceremony online in his apartment because he has no T.V., offers a viewpoint lesser heard on this campus.
“He paints a story of progress that is so appealing that you can’t resist it. It’s not very accurate. I will say, however, the shout-out to the atheists was pretty cool.“ Gallmeyer refered to the moment in Obama’s speech in which he said, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.”
In response to Diekahns-Mears’ earlier quote, however, Gallmeyer said, “I’m not confused in any capacity. I don’t buy any of it.”
Post was not the only viewing party to happen on campus. Junior Abby Pardick and senior Sam Bouman also watched the historic moment with about thirty others. Although the campus had mixed emotions about Obama becoming president, many people stopped what they were doing to watch it occur.