SHU hosts election watch party, one for the history books

Students gather in Lowe Dining Hall to watch the results unfold for the 2016 presidential election. This election will go down in history, as there were two firsts on the ballot this year. The first female candidate, and the first male candidate to have never run for any previous office position.

Students gather in Lowe Dining Hall to watch the results unfold for the 2016 presidential election. This election will go down in history, as there were two firsts on the ballot this year: the first female candidate, and the first male candidate to have never run for any previous office position. Photo courtesy of C.Arida/Setonian.

Wednesday, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States in one of the most historical elections of our time. Prior to his win, Seton Hill University’s (SHU) student engagement office and political science department hosted an election watch party.

Over 70 students gathered in Lowe Dining Hall on Tuesday to watch the historical event take place. Throughout the watch party, a series of games were played to keep students engaged in the process.

“I hope students gained a lifelong interest in government and politics and learned the importance of educating themselves on candidate and policy issues related to government elections and functioning,” said Roni Kay O’Dell, assistant professor of political science at SHU.

O’Dell, along with help of students from her class, was able to host an event that brought students together and provided a platform for students to talk about the election-related issues, many of whom had just voted for the first time.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s reaction to whatever happens,” said Taylor Sipos, SHU student, prior to the results.

“Regardless of political beliefs, I think everyone can agree that this will be an election to remember and one to learn from,” said Emily Raffay, SHU student. “We have witnessed a huge change in the way that campaigns are run and the standards to which we hold our elected officials.”

With the help of Darren Achtezhn, director of food services at SHU, as well as the student engagement program, students were able to enjoy food, games and prizes at the event as well.

“I enjoyed the Jeopardy game that we played at the election party,” said Raffay. “It got me thinking about the importance of our democracy and our ability to vote through questions about past elections and vocabulary terms.”

“It is so important to engage in government, to follow what government does or does not do and to be connected with our politicians to help them understand how to govern well,” O’Dell said. “I hope students left with a desire to change their society for the better.”

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