In the midst of the intensity of election night on November 8, Regent University’s Robertson School of Government (RSG) concentrated the excitement into one room in Robertson Hall where students and faculty gathered to watch election returns together.
“It is so wonderful being among a group of people who are so excited about the election, and the conversation that we were able to have is so informed,” said Bethany Sigler ’17 (RSG).
The conversation stayed informed with up-to-the-minute election results from Fox News, and coverage from WAVY News 10 where RSG Dean, Dr. Eric Patterson, offered his insight into local and national elections.
“I love election season. It became even more of a big deal,” said Sigler. “My husband and I are expecting. This is even bigger for us now because it’s going to be the world we are bringing our child into, so there’s a lot at stake for our country and our family.”
Sigler, an international relations student, says the military is her top voting priority. She comes from a left-leaning family and once held similar views, but through education has embraced conservatism. She originally pulled for Rubio, but found herself supporting Trump at the election watch party. Her transformation experience inspires her to one day become a college professor to inspire others to explore a world of ideas, something she’s experienced at Regent.
“We have constant debate in our classrooms, and it’s so refreshing to be among so many people from so many different backgrounds, and we can talk about all sorts of different issues in an academic setting and respect each other’s views,” said Sigler.
During the evening, students expressed their political views in a presidential poll and political coloring books. They kept track of electoral votes by shading in states with Sharpies, and enjoyed pizza, cake and puzzles.
“It’s been fun,” said 1L Brandan Goodwin ’19 (School of Law). “I think it’s been a lot of camaraderie. There are a lot of people hopeful for the election, a lot of people who really do care. I think it’s good for students to take an active role in their government, and a very active role in presenting themselves, and presenting how they feel about the election, and how they feel about electoral decisions in the United States.”
Goodwin, an aspiring immigration lawyer who volunteered with Trump’s campaign in Michigan, says national security, immigration and trade are his top considerations for his candidate. And while he’ll argue for those positions with his friends on election night, he says his political activity will go beyond voting.
“We get a choice in the United States, unlike many places in the world,” said Goodwin. “You just have to move forward, keep voting, keep having your feelings heard. You should write your congressmen, your senators, keep getting your voice heard.”