Cheers erupted from most of the 200 students in the Student Union watching as President Barack Obama’s reelection was announced Tuesday night.
Sophomore psychology major Matt Draper ran across the Student Union carrying a giant American flag .
“I’m stoked that Obama won,” Draper said. “I’m from the Bay area and I’ve never been around so many conservative people, so I thought this would be hilarious.”
Many Chapman students were able to vote for the first time this election. Several voted by absentee ballots, while others voted at their respective polling sites or at Orange High School.
Students also waited anxiously for the results of many highly debated California propositions. Proposition 30, temporarily increasing taxes to fund education, and Proposition 36, amending the three strikes law to ensure that convicted felons only be sentenced to life in prison if the third offence is serious or violent, both passed. Proposition 34, repealing the death penalty, and Proposition 37, requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods, did not.
Filippo Talucci, a freshman business major, voted for Obama at Orange High School. However, Talucci said he didn’t research the propositions. “I had my mom text me what [propositions] to vote for,” Talucci said.
Students stood in line for up to an hour and a half to enter the polling site among mostly elderly Orange community members. Students exiting the polls smiled as they received their long awaited “I voted” stickers.
Michael Naoumovitch, a freshman undeclared major, voted for Gov. Mitt Romney through an absentee ballot.
“I didn’t do much research and my whole family is conservative,” Naoumovitch said.
Ryan Greenhalgh, a freshman business major, voted for Obama and in favor of Proposition 37. He watched the results in Argyros Forum.
“My mom is a huge health food nut and people have the right to know,” he said.
Steven Babiak, a sophomore business major, voted for Romney because of his conservative stance on taxes. Babiak is also disappointed that the GOP lost its chance to take control of Senate. “[Romney] has the business experience to get us out of deficit and is well-positioned to get across party lines in this split congress,” Babiak said. “It’s disappointing but we will be back in two years to get the senate back.”
Babiak said he opposes increases in taxes and voted against Proposition 30. “California rejects virtually every tax increase but [Gov. Jerry] Brown and the teacher’s union are pushing it very hard,” Babiak said.
Students were confused in the Student Union as MSNBC announced that Obama had won while CNN and Fox had not made a decision yet. As Fox projected Obama’s victory, many students celebrated with cheers and clapping, but the Union remained calm for the most part as students kept their eyes glued to the televisions.
“I’m glad [Obama] won,” Greenhalgh said. “I’m one for one in my election record now.”
Roger Bacon, a first year film production graduate student, voted for Obama. Bacon also voted for Obama in 2008.
“I’m surprised [Obama] carried so many swing states,” Bacon said. “He’s done enough in four years and we shouldn’t pull someone from their job when they are halfway done.”
However, not everyone in the Student Union celebrated Obama’s victory, as Romney’s supporters sat quietly in the front corner.
“I knew more likely than not that Obama would win but I voiced my opinion by voting,” said Porter Hahn, a freshman business major. “I support my president no matter who he is. Romney just aligns more with my ideals.”