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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students react to hard-fought presidential election

Published: November 9, 2012
Section: Featured, News

Tuesday night marked the reelection of President Obama and the victory of Democrat Elizabeth Warren over incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, as well as the passage of landmark ballot measures across the nation. The results were met with both celebration and dismay around the Brandeis campus.

Obama won the presidential election with 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206, not including Florida, which has yet to be counted.

“My mom took me canvassing with her for Clinton when I was two years old, so voting for my first presidential election through absentee was a little anticlimactic, but I’m proud that this is my first of many elections,” Marcie Lieberman ’13, former ’Deis Dems member and Florida resident said. “America needs gun control laws that are strong, real education reform and money in head-start programs and other safety programs. What I expect to see is Mitch McConnell whining because he couldn’t accomplish his first goal, ‘to make Obama a one term president.”

While Brandeis is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most liberal universities (ranked 22nd most liberal by Newsweek), the campus was not void of disappointment Wednesday morning.

“The country chose social values over economic ones,” said Brandeis Tea Party president Joe Lanoie ’15. “Unemployment hovers at 8 percent and gas prices slowly rise … I wish Obama the best, but he must go back to the Constitution and the principles espoused within it to prosper. The Constitution is there for a reason.”

“Barack Obama should be bipartisan and focus on an economic boom by cutting taxes and cutting spending to Constitutional limits. If this happens, success will follow,” he added.

In Massachusetts, voters elected Warren to the Senate.

“I’m proud to be going to college in Massachusetts during a time when Elizabeth Warren will be in the Senate,” said Fred Berger of ’Deis Dems. “As the head of the Consumer Protection Bureau she has proven that her voice is a voice of the people.”

Berger also noted that Obama’s second term will likely be more productive than the first. “Without the need to be reelected, President Obama will be a stronger, bolder leader,” he said.

The election was a big win for women in Massachusetts and around the country. The Senate now consists of the most female senators in history, with Wisconsin electing the first openly gay congresswoman to the Senate.

Gender took the center stage with Romney’s now infamous, “binders full of women” gaffe in the second debate.

“Obama has always been very vocal in supporting women’s rights and making them a big part of his campaign, which is so important to me,” said Zuri Gordon ’15, member of the FMLA executive board.

“This year’s Congressional election was also very influential for women. Now there are 19 female senators, which is the most ever in U.S. history. I’m glad that this includes women of color, non-heterosexual women, veterans, alternatively able-bodied women and women of varying ages. There’s still a long way to go with making the Senate more diverse, but I think that we have progressed and will continue to, under Obama,” Gordon said.

In addition to the national and local elections, Massachusetts residents voted on three monumental ballot questions. While a “death with dignity,” or assisted suicide measure in cases of terminal illness was voted down by an infinitesimal margin, voters approved the legalization of medicinal marijuana by a landslide victory of 63 percent.

“Not only was I thrilled to vote in my first presidential election, but Question 3, proposing the use of medical marijuana, was on the ballot for Massachusetts,” Khadijah Lynch ’15 said. “It seems as though our country is slowly but surely starting to warm up to marijuana and get rid of all those negative stigmas associated with weed.”

Lynch is in the process of chartering an on-campus hemp club, which will bring attention to issues surrounding the use of hemp and marijuana and how it affects students.

“My mother is a breast cancer survivor. I remember how miserable, melancholy and weak she would be after all of her treatments and hospital visits. Knowing that medical marijuana will be used to alleviate some of the physiological side effects of cancer treatments is wonderful news to cancer patients and their families,” Lynch said.