As the 2008 Election came to a close, our nation made history by electing its first African American president, Barack Obama. This election is a milestone that will go down in every textbook and will be talked about for centuries on end. This election has been life changing for many Americans. Some people feel their voices were heard for the very first time. Students had very different reactions to this presidential decision. Some were elated, others were appalled, and some were indifferent.

“I felt really good! I voted for Obama and my whole family was for Obama. I was really excited!”- Nicole Mosley, a sophomore in mathematics education

“The election was great. It involved the more young people and inspired more people to vote.” – Taurean Brown, a junior majoring in fisheries and wildlife science

“I was excited about the outcome. It was fair and I like Obama! I was pleased and I think the best candidate won.”-Jasmin Jordan, a freshman in the transition program

“I felt great! I watched the whole election. I was the scorekeeper and kept everybody updated on facebook!”-Mike Chargualaf, a sophomore majoring in polymer and color chemistry

“I was elated! I am proud to have Barack Obama in office. Not only am I proud to see the first black president but I am also proud that he will make a change for all of us.”- Kenda Freeman, a senior majoring in biological sciences

“I don’t understand why people would vote for Obama. All the election proved was that the liberals had a strong hold on the country. I felt that a lot didn’t know what they were voting for.”- Zack Greenhill, a freshman majoring in turfgrass management

“I think the election was positive and dreams come true no matter what you set your mind to.” – ┬áJessica Battle, a sophomore majoring in criminology/transition program

“I wasn’t mad with the outcome. I’m a liberal republican so I didn’t really agree with some of Obama’s policies. I felt they were a bit too liberal.” – Jessica Scroggins, a sophomore majoring in elementary education

From these words of our fellow students it is easy to see how our views are different. Personally, I was happy with the election results, and I feel like for the first time in a long time that I was a part of something great. I feel that America is going in the right direction, and this election has enhanced my interest in politics.

Even though the 2008 election sparked a lot of interest, controversy traveled closely behind it. Even though people do not like to talk about race, it is still a very big issue in the U.S. The fact that one of the presidential candidates was black (biracial to be exact) was a huge deal for America as a whole. There has never been an African American president, and it is safe to say that some may not have liked him for the mere fact of his race. I like to think that this was a small minority of people and that other Americas were more accepting. I would have hoped that they did not like Obama based on his political preferences versus anything else. That is the same for McCain. I don’t believe in voting blindly and for superficial reasons. It is wrong to judge others on physical or biological characteristics. People should be judged on character and how they live their lives.

This election brought racial tensions to the surface, even on this campus. The free expression tunnel was covered with racial slurs that offended many people on campus. I have always known there was racism everywhere, but to see it on my campus in bold letters was a severe disappointment. The south has had it’s tragic past with racism and slavery, but I thought we had moved past this. I thought we were finally getting to know and understand each other. My bubble officially burst, and sometimes I do not know who has the potential of being my friend. It has placed a certain doubt in my heart for humanity. Does it make sense to hate someone simply for how they look? As far as racism goes, I am not talking about just white people. There are racists Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and so on. This is the honest truth, and we are never going to conquer it if we do not make an effort to understand each other.

The Obama/McCain presidential race will stick with me for the rest of my life. I will look back and see this as a big step for America. Obama wants change, but we must realize that it cannot happen in one day. It may not happen in one term. The important thing is that we are working towards it and nothing can be done without everyone’s input. So, support each other. Talk to someone you would not normally speak to, because making diverse friends is the first step to eradicate racial tension.