C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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Political Party at Hamilton

October 6, 2012   

This past Wednesday marked the start of the 2012 presidential debate season, one of the closing chapters in a seemingly endless campaign.  After months of tracking the candidates – I receive about three daily emails from the New York Times, the New Yorker, or the campaigns themselves – it was finally time to sit down and argue substance.  I was not the only one watching.

In the past, college students have been accused of being politically apathetic—uninvolved, uninterested, simply coasting through life as the world around them changes.  However, I am happy to say Hamilton students have embraced the political scene.  Sadove Student Center, a three story building, was packed full of spectators Wednesday night as huge screens along the walls broadcast C-SPAN.

I never anticipated such enthusiasm for politics.  In high school, most of my friends cared more about their Calc test next week than a presidential election.  But in college, you are an adult; your friends, coworkers and professors are adults; the adult world applies to you.  That is not to say the environment inside Sadove was necessarily grown up.  Boxes of pizza were stacked to ceiling; glasses of apple cider were doled out freely.  Many students sported red or blue Hamilton College t-shirts, and someone managed to find a “Vote Mit” lax penny.  The crowd seemed more appropriate to a game than a political debate.

I could not find a seat.  Arriving five minutes before the start proved an ill-advised tactic, so throughout the broadcast I leaned up against the wall and hoped someone would leave.  No one did.  But despite the crick in my neck, the pain in my back, and work still hanging over my head, I was glad to be there.  I was glad to laugh with Hamilton as the president revealed it was his anniversary, to read the comments posted in real time from my classmates, and most of all, to watch a political fight.