Exuberant chanting and thrilled screams echoed through campus late last night and into the early hours of Wednesday morning as hundreds of students marched through campus in celebration of Barack Obama’s presidential victory.
The crowd cheered, “Yes, we did,” “O-B-A-M-A,” “Barack the vote” and “No more Bush” as it stormed through Dickinson Community around 1 a.m.
Fireworks set off near Dickinson shortly before midnight were said to be the onset of the rally by some students, while others said the movement initiated in College in the Woods and Hinman.
Officer Mark Silverio of Binghamton University’s New York State University Police said the march started between Newing and Dickinson communities, and headed down West Drive towards CIW, Mountainview College, and the Union. The crowd, which reached more than 500 students at one point, circled the route again as more students joined, he said.
At one point a stampede of students moved through the New University Union towards Dickinson. The revelers banged on railings, laughed and sprinted ahead of others as they chanted.
“I just heard people walking through Hinman. When they came back around they had eight times as many people,” Sterling Timberlake-Brown, a junior majoring in biology, said.
Another student said he joined the crusade near Mountainview College.
“We joined the rally because we believe that we can!” Michael Longo, a junior managing in global management, said. “This is a sign of us as college students, of us as a new generation taking charge.”
When asked why so many students had come out to the rally, one student yelled, “Because we give a fuck!”
One student said the inspiration of the election really hit home.
“I didn’t think it was possible,” Ketiwe Boahene, a sophomore majoring in psychology said. “I thought, ‘History is going to repeat itself.’ But they actually gave [Obama] a chance … If people accept him and he’s so different from the norm of what a president is, that touches me.”
Upon reaching Dickinson, a group of six to seven individuals climbed atop The Object in Dickinson, as hundreds of students circled the sculpture and continued chanting.
“I think it’s awesome, everyone’s excited, I feel the adrenaline,” said Matthew Eng, a sophomore majoring in biology.
Silverio said that as long as the students did not impede traffic or damage property, UPD had no reason to interrupt.
By about 1:20 a.m. the march began to die out between C.I.W. and Mountainview as students dispersed around the Brain.
— Evan Drellich contributed to this report.