Students react to Bush’s re-election as president

Jason Juno

Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry conceded to President George W. Bush on Wednesday, leaving some students to reflect on a long campaign and what might happen in the next four years.

“I did what I could to get (John Kerry) in,” said sophomore chemical engineering student Charlie Whitten.

Whitten, a Kerry supporter, said education is an important issue, and he believes Bush does not have a stand on it.

“I do wish that Kerry had gotten in,” he said.

Kaity Ourada, a first-year student, said she voted for Bush by absentee ballot in Wisconsin, and was surprised to hear Kerry had conceded so early.

“Since I’m Republican and very conservative, I was happy about that,” she said.

Ourada said she is happy the result was known earlier this year than it was in the 2000 election.

“That was a little ridiculous,” she said. “I didn’t think that would extend that far, because they took different measures during the election to make that not happen.”

She said she believes Bush has some things left to deal with, mainly the situation in Iraq.

“I think it would have been hard for another president to come in,” she said.

Genevieve Lueck said she voted for Kerry and thought it was “too bad” he lost.

She said the Bush administration’s stance on Iraq and a lack of funding for the No Child Left Behind Act have upset people.

“I think (the country’s direction) is going to continue to go on the same path it’s been going on, and more people are going to get pissed off,” she said.

She said anger could ultimately unite U.S. citizens.

Asked if the United States is divided, Ourada said some people are bitter now, but that would have also been the case if Kerry won.

Matt Lobeck also voted for Bush and heard Kerry concede the election.

He said he understands why Kerry waited to concede – to ensure all votes were counted.

“The country is really divided, and it was nice to have a civil end to the election, so the country can heal from Ö a bitter campaign,” Lobeck said.

Third-year pharmacy student Dustin Mathias said he cast his vote for Kerry.

“I thought it was fair of him to finally concede to Bush because there was no possibility of him taking over,” Mathias said.

Lobeck said that to unite the country, he expects Bush to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats.

Mathias said that to unite the country, Bush should think “about the American people and try and do what’s best for our country and not just the interest of the GOP.”

Lobeck, a senior biology student, said he thinks Bush has a better foreign policy plan than Kerry.

Mathias said there is “a lot of hope” for Democrats in the 2008 presidential election.

College parties react

The College Republicans and College Democrats of Minnesota each said they are recovering from a long campaign run.

Neither is planning events now. Tony Zammit, chairman of the College Republicans, said they will gather as a group tonight and eat while “soaking it all in.” After members recoup, they might have a party the weekend of Nov. 13.

Chris Montana, president of the College Democrats of Minnesota, said his group is disappointed at Kerry’s loss, but they are happy that Kerry won Minnesota.