Election night with GW College Dems ends in upset

At 1:44 a.m. on Nov. 9, the handful of students left in the Marvin Center grand ballroom started to head out. After a six-hour event filled with approximately 600 students, it was time to pack up and go home. Crumbled electoral map sheets and #Imwithher stickers covered the floor and there was a low murmur of “goodnights” and “hang in there’s” among friends. This was a different night then most would have expected.

A little earlier T.J. Clark, chair of GW College Democrats debate committee, stood on a chair in the front of the room and addressed the 30 students left. In a moment of complete despair he tried to offer some words. “On Nov. 10, we got to start to think about how we’re going to fight again,” he preached. This was a night no one planned for, but he emphasized the importance of the 2018 and 2020 elections and how we will stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Although devastated, the group remaining tried to scrape together some hope.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, approximately 600 bright-eyed GW students gathered on the third floor of the Marvin Center to watch the Election Night results come in with GW College Democrats. What they thought was going to be a landslide victory for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned out to be a stunning defeat.

The energy of the night started out on a total high - a high full of patriotism, feminism, and democracy, but as the results started coming in the sentiment changed. The vibrant energy turned to panic and fear. Voices quieted down as Wolf Blitzer on CNN explained the changes in the electoral map.

Around the room students were frantically checking their phones, squeezing friends’ hands and talking about consuming copious amounts of alcohol post-election. In between national updates, students checked state and local election results, hoping they had more luck in their hometowns than in the presidential race.

Morale picked up around 9:50 p.m. with a Clinton lead in Virginia and Clark roused the crowd with the “I Believe” chant.

CNN reporters kept emphasizing how remarkable this election was, which was met by grunts and scoffs from the student audience.

Morale, the DOW, and what were supposed to be blue states were all down. Then, around 11 p.m. Clinton won California, giving her a short-lived lead.

After midnight Pennsylvania flipped. GW College Democrats President Lande Watson made an announcement that College Republicans and journalists were lurking in the area. “When they go low, we go high,” she said, quoting the first lady at the Democratic National Convention.

“When they go low, we go high,” she said, quoting the first lady at the Democratic National Convention.

The crowd in the Marvin Center started dwindling down after 12:30 a.m. As CNN started talking about the reasons why Donald Trump was winning, reality set in that the president everyone came out to rally for was not going to prevail. Rebellion against the elite, closeted Trump supporters, absence of Clinton in Wisconsin, third-party candidates, FBI investigations, and Bernie Sanders were some of the ideas floating around as to why.

Final results from the NY Times.

Final results from the NY Times.

ust a little earlier there were photo booths, tattoos, loads of food, raffles, games, and more. The mood was vibrant and the atmosphere was loud as everyone expected the night to end with the first female president of the United States. Media representation at the event included: The New York Times, Voice of America, ARD (German PBS), Fusion, GW Today, AP, and The Hatchet. Levi Debose, vice president of communications for College Democrats, said about 90 people from GW College Democrats were involved in the planning of this event. This included the e-board, senior deputy board, and committees. Carley Berlin, deputy communications chair, emphasized the role of social media because, "We're millennials and that's how we communicate."

It goes without saying that GW College Democrats tried their best to elect Clinton and put on a spectacular event. GW College Democrats, the largest college Democrat’s organization in the country, made over 21,000 calls and knocked over 7,500 doors as an organization during this campaign season. Clark’s speech at the end of the night was a reminder of the work they have left to go, as the fight does not end here.

A special thank you to GW College Democrats.

Originally published by Courtney Buble on gw.therival.news on 11.9.16.

CampusBrandon Bish