The mood on campus concerning the presidential election is considerably different than that of four years ago. One word sums up the general sentiment among students and faculty: relief.
“This election was just kind of a dud,” said sophomore Julie Arnold, an English writing and rhetoric major. “Neither candidate is anyone that anyone is really passionate about. It’s just kind of like we need to pick one.”
On the eve of the election, Hilltop Views spoke with several members of the university community about their thoughts on the 2012 presidential race.
For first-time voters like senior Theater Management major Alejandra Gracia, Election Day is an important milestone.
“It’s kind of a big deal because…[my dad] is counting on me to vote,” Gracia said. “He can’t vote because he’s not a citizen.”
Since Gracia missed the deadline to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot for her hometown of La Joya, Texas, she drove home to vote.
“This is the one chance I have that I can actually do a civic duty,” Gracia said.
Jackie Schicker, a sophomore English literature major, is another first-time voter who feels invested in Tuesday’s results.
“I’m a little bit terrified of the results. I’ve been really involved in the process… It’s really been nerve-racking to me because it is such a close race and we probably won’t know until much later,” Schicker said. “I’m looking forward to it being over because at least I’ll know. I’ll have a very strong emotional reaction either way.”
Jack Green Musselman, a philosophy professor, had a different perspective on the race.
“I don’t have that experience,” Musselman said when asked if he had grown weary of the election season and the media coverage it entails. “The only place I watch TV is the gym… I could go on for another month.”
In 2008, students and professors gathered in communal areas on campus and around Austin to witness the historic election of the nation’s first African-American president.
This time around, some students are less enchanted by the process of electing a new president, but still recognize the value of political participation.
“I will be voting on Tuesday. While I may not be the most optimistic person when it comes to politicians and our political process, I’ll never miss an election,” said Jason Cole, a senior English writing and rhetoric major.
Yesterday was Cole’s third time to vote in a presidential election.
Though Cole voted, he shares the sense of relief over the election process finally coming to an end.
“I’m glad that the process is over,” Cole said. “After Tuesday, we’ll have only 50 percent of the country on edge instead of 100 percent.”