Five Signs: You’re on a college campus for election 2008.

Geography Essay
Photos and captions by Nathan Mattise

College (and post-college limbo) is a time for excessive sleeping, partying, *studying*…. and traveling. It’s one of the finer points of college because there are no real commitments to hold you back. So in the spirit of good roadtrip, In the Pursuit of the Trivial offers the Five Signs series. It’s a photo-documentary account from an exotic location done through the signs ready to greet every and all tourists. Today, welcome to a college campus on election day 2008.

1. Edward Smith Elementary: Bake Sale Nov. 4 Please Vote

True, this sign is not actually on a college campus. It does however demonstrate the monumental scope of this election because even the demographic below the “youth” demographic was passionate about it.

2. “Need a ride to vote?”

One of the lasting images of election ’08 will be the great lengths individuals went to vote. On campus we drove students to the polls starting at 6 a.m. and going until polls closed that evening. That’s not even close to the dedication seen in some other collegiate areas – Lincoln University students waited 11 hours to get it done.

3. “Status Updates”

Is it fair to say this was the most highly contested forum for college students? I’ve never seen more comments on Facebook statuses than the number from the past week. Both campaigns even developed specialized Facebook support statuses that were used by over 500,000 students for each candidate to donate their statuses to the cause.

4. “Obama Wins, Students Rejoice”

So it might not be the iconic front page going for a few hundred on eBay, but I bet whatever junior designer got to throw this together breathed a bit heavier when thinking about his/her portfolio for this summer. The student newspaper on campus also happened to endorse Obama last week but no word on whether this was directly responsible for the victory.

5. “Obama | Biden”

Here’s the bottom line: around 11 p.m. EST a celebration unlike any other I’ve ever experienced took place seemingly around the entire country. People were all over the streets hugging strangers, dancing, etc. I had work at 8:30 a.m. the next morning but still stayed up until sometime after 3 a.m. so I could witness history. I don’t intend on sleeping January 19 and 20 either so if anyone wants to roadtrip – get at me.

And that’s it from my campus during election ’08. The only sign that didn’t quite make the cut would be these fair trade coffee baristas spreading the word (but like the third sign, I didn’t take the picture). Until next time, I’ll make sure to keep you posted on the next adventure.

(Links today from Newseum, The Daily Orange, CNN.com and my collegiate friend Terri-Ann)

If you want to yell at Nate for this idea because it’s dumb, e-mail him… but this election needs as much documentation as possible :)
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1 Comment

Filed under Essays, Geography

One response to “Five Signs: You’re on a college campus for election 2008.

  1. Terri-Ann

    reading this post brought back some great memories from election night. many people look back at this election and see that there are more pluses than minuses to all of this ‘popularity’ voting has received. also, i didn’t realizing how much bigger the section about Maffei in the Daily Orange was compared to the Obama winning section. in short, i really enjoyed seeing this photo-documentary of yours.

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