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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA reacts to inauguration

    Tiffany Turner helps to sell Obama T-shirts at the Inauguration Day Celebration at Club Congress Tuesday evening.
    Tiffany Turner helps to sell Obama T-shirts at the Inauguration Day Celebration at Club Congress Tuesday evening.

    A political buzz surrounded the UA campus Tuesday as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, giving students plenty to talk about.

    The inauguration was broadcast at locations across campus, such as Centennial Hall, the UofA Bookstore and Gallagher Theater, providing students with the chance to sit and watch the historic event or at least catch glimpses between classes.

    Along with the millions on the National Mall in front of the Washington Memorial, students and Tucsonans inside Centennial Hall clapped and cheered throughout the new president’s speech.

    The loudest cheers erupted when President Obama called for a restoration of the nations colleges and universities.

    Turquoise Washington, a pre-communications freshman, got to Centennial Hall just before 10 a.m. to watch Obama be sworn in and address the nation.

    “”It made me proud to be an American,”” Washington said.

    Nicole Valencia, a theater production sophomore, watched Obama’s speech on from her computer in her dorm room.

    “”It was very intense, but they could have looked at more diverse faces,”” Valencia said. “”They tended to focus on a certain type of people; they focused on his race a lot, but lots of other people supported him too.””

    Like many other UA students, history senior Charles Scheurich, said he wanted to watch the inauguration, but could not because he was in class.

    “”I don’t really recall Bush’s inauguration, but I assume this one got a lot more attention. Obviously, it’s a historic moment and people should be rightly excited,”” he said.

    Scheurich said he hopes Obama can “”restore some credibility of the U.S. in the world.””

    Will Driscoll, an ecology and evolutionary biology graduate student who volunteered for Obama’s campaign in Tucson, said he is excited for the change but has reasonable expectations.

    “”There is a chance we are in a lot of trouble,”” Driscoll said. “”He might not be able to fix everything.””

    Driscoll said he watched the ceremonies and Obama’s speech from his house.

    “”I was really, really proud,”” he said.

    But not everybody was excited, or even noticed there was an inauguration going on.

    “”I didn’t even think to watch it,”” Jeff Kiser, a junior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biophysics, said. “”I think it’s good that we do have venues here for students to come together and watch it, I just didn’t take part, I slept in.””

    The inauguration even sparked the interest of visiting international students.

    “”I love how excited the audience was, and everybody clapping and cheering,”” Sabine Van Thiel, psychology exchange student from the Netherlands, said about the crowd in Washington, D.C. “”I think that’s typical American. I thought it was a bit strange how (Americans) turned their backs on Bush, because they chose him twice. “”

    Van Thiel said she liked how Obama’s speech tied together new ideas with traditional values.

    “”I think he will mostly be an (inspiration) to many people, act more green … and be more open to other cultures and religions,”” Van Thiel said.

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