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   Date: 11/7/08

JYA Q&A: Students Comment on Election 2008


Catherine Gees, a double major in German studies and English, is spending her junior year in Hamburg, Germany.

Catherine Gees in Hamburg.

Gate: How did you spend election night?

Catherine Gees: On election night I went to a party hosted by the Bucerius Law School here in Hamburg. I didn't stay very long though; I spent most of the time in my dorm watching the election unfold on CNN with some German friends. I'd have to say a lot of the excitement (in my dorm) about
election night itself was generated by myself and the other American students with me; everyone was very interested in what would happen, but I doubt they would have stayed up quite as late as they did had we not been there. Nevertheless, they humored our outbursts of joy when a projection came in and that really helped to quell any homesickness we may have been feeling.

Gate: How would you describe the interest in the presidential election where you are?

CG: Leading up to election night, many of the people I've met here (even those
whom I've met only briefly) asked me about the election, what I thought of the candidates, who I thought would win, how I would feel depending on what happened. Many of the students I've met have been following the campaigns (and the ensuing jokes and YouTube videos) with an attention that seems more than required of non-Americans.

Gate: What was the reaction about the election of Barack Obama?

CG: Most of them think that Obama will be a good president and look forward to
see what he will accomplish, though they agree that he certainly has his work cut out for him. The election has also come up in my classes at the university, where one of my professors used the phrase "King Obama" yesterday. He had mentioned the election in each class leading up to it; often saying something along the lines of "in X weeks when the United States chooses a new president, hopefully this time it will
be the right one."

Gate: Did you vote by absentee ballot? When did you send that in?

CG: I am registered to vote in Massachusetts and requested an absentee ballot before the deadline, but I never received one. I'm sure it will come in the mail in the next few days, as is only fitting.


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