Inaugural Reactions from the Leicester Campus

Published on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

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Becker College students, faculty, and staff gathered today on both campuses to watch the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, supported in spirit by countless others watching streaming video from various media outlets, including those watching CNN from facebook.com.

David Bostick, assistant student activities director and diversity coordinator, and a 2005 Becker graduate, hosted festivities in the Hawks’ Haven snack bar on the Leicester campus. He noted that students were, “jubilant to get out and vote,” last fall. He believes students will continue to watch the new president with interest and that more college-age voters than ever will take to the polls in 2012.

When asked what thought was foremost on his mind today, Bostick said simply, “Change.” He went on, “Students are looking forward to it, wanting it. I think everyone was genuinely excited about what Obama had to say.”

Nursing student Norma Santiago could be seen wiping her eyes as she watched. “My father was an activist in New York City,” said the 51-year-old mother, and recounted how, many years ago, her father had been arrested for speaking Spanish from his family stoop. “For Obama to become president means there is nothing that cannot happen in the United States,” she said, adding, “I can’t wait to call my father.”

Other reactions were along similar, momentous lines.

“I haven’t been this excited about an inauguration since [President] Kennedy,” said Charlotte Newell, D.V.M., associate professor of veterinary sciences at Becker.

“It’s good; it’s about time,” said Tyler Barnes, a freshman sports management major from Cambridge, Mass. “I’m proud.”

“Everyone who is here is part of history,” said Raymond Borelli, a freshman criminal justice major from Waterbury, Conn.

“It’s good to be here with everyone else,” said Seton Benjamin, a freshman veterinary technology major from Simsbury, Conn. “This was the first inauguration I watched, and the first election I voted in.”

At least one student had more immediate concerns on her mind.

“I hope he changes the economy,” said Kelly Army, a sophomore pre-veterinary major from Grafton, Mass. “In with the good, out with the bad.”

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