On this election night, Penn student groups anxiously gathered at viewing parties to watch the unnerving, monumental presidential election unfold. For many, this was their first time voting in a presidential election.
The Daily Pennsylvanian followed the political pulse on Penn’s campus tonight — here are our major takeaways.
Penn Leads the Vote/Undergraduate Assembly Harnwell Party (visited 8-8:30 p.m.)
Highlight: Bloomers band
Food: Red and blue cupcakes and a chocolate fountain
Overheard: “The end is nigh”
Penn Leads the Vote is a nonpartisan organization sponsored by the University that aims to motivate students to vote. They’ve been active on Locust Walk from Monday to Thursday, getting 550 voters to register before the deadline. Co-chair of Penn Leads the Vote and College senior Zakya Hall commented how proud she was that voters stuck around to hand in their ballots despite long lines.
International Affairs Association (visited 8:30-8:50 p.m.)
Highlight: Corona beer imported from Mexico
Food: Cupcakes, chips, popcorn
Overheard: “He’s leading more than Romney did in Florida”
The IAA hosted an intimate party located at the Radian Lounge. The 11th floor views of the city set the stage for this group to drink, talk and laugh.
Huntsman sophomore Shravan Balaji projected a Hillary win with the belief that “reason will prevail.”
Penn Government and Politics Association (visited 8:50-9:10 p.m.)
Highlight: Cutout of Hillary
Overheard: “Let’s order caviar and champagne”
GPA is a nonpartisan political group. Their party was hosted at a private room on the second floor of Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. At this point in the night, as College senior Rhea Singh said, “It’s nerve wracking, but I think it’ll be fine I’m hopeful.”
College junior Cornell Overfield noted that “until the map is bluer it’s stressful.” He further added that he had faith Clinton would “pull it out to win.”
College Republicans (visited 9:10-9:30 p.m.)
Highlight: Trump visor
Food: Papa Johns
Overheard: “Guys, we should put on Fox”
College Republicans gathered on the first floor of Sigma Phi Epsilon on Walnut Street to watch the election. The only place openly supporting Trump, students noted that open support for Trump on Penn campus is generally met with judgment. But now the general level of intoxication reflected an optimistic outlook as Trump seemed to be doing better than expected.
College freshman Elizabeth Luhnow noted that “two days ago I would’ve thought Hillary, but five minutes ago I’m thinking it might be Trump.”
Wharton freshman Jennifer Hu added that a Trump win would be America’s “Brexit moment.”
Penn Democrats (9:30-10:00 p.m.)
Highlight: Abundance of Hillary gear
Food: Bar food
Overheard: “We put on MSNBC because CNN was too bipartisan”
Penn Dems’ night started with an enthusiastic parade down Locust Walk from 7:00-7:20 p.m. A collection of committed Hillary supporters wearing badges and toting signs chanted “I’m with her, she’s with us” as the last few voters hit the polls.
The stress in the underground room of Cavanaugh’s Restaurant & Sports Bar was palpable as anxious Democrats gathered to see if their months of campaigning would pay off. Penn Dems board member and College senior Hannah Fagin expressed her anxiety with the incoming results but was glad she could witness them with the rest of the board.
She commented that it was “a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”