Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Where will you be when the winner of the presidential election is announced? If you’ll be on campus tonight, you have several options of venues in which to endure televised media coverage of the election returns. The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is offering cake along with its coverage, and the Intercultural Center (IC) will be hosting a screening on its big screen in the IC Big Room. The largest expected gathering, however, will be in Upper Tarble at the Swarthmore Voter Registration Coalition (SVRC) hosted Election Day Returns Broadcast Party.
The SVRC-hosted event promises to go from 8 pm until a clear winner is announced. It also promises food and professors from the Political Science Department to facilitate small group discussions about the results, if there is a decision early enough.
SVRC had some difficulty receiving SAC (Social Affairs Committee) funding for a campus-wide screening of the first presidential debate in early October, because of a by-law stating that SAC did not fund events promoting a political ideology. Further discussions with both Student Council and the Student Budgeting Committee overturned original denial of funds, deciding that the debate screening did not fall under the by-law. In accordance with that decision, SVRC’s party tonight will be partially funded by SAC. Ethan Ucker ’07, a SVRC coordinator of both the debate screening and tonight’s event, said that, “Despite the problems with the by-law and SAC last time, there weren’t any problems procuring funding for the event this time.” SAC co-director Charlie Sussman ’05 stated in early October, after the appeals over SAC’s political by-law, that the SAC co-directors, Student Council co-presidents, Student Activities Coordinator Jenny Yim and Dean Bob Gross had met to discuss potential clarifications of the by-law, but had not decided on anything concrete.
The election returns party is also funded by the Swarthmore Foundation (through the Lang Center) and the President’s Office, with additional support from the Democracy Project and the Dean’s Office. Ucker also mentioned that SVRC had to apply to the Swarthmore Foundation Committee for additional funding because the cost of the event exceeded initial estimates.