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Students participate in Election Bash

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Mass communications professor, Richard Joyce, explains the rules of Electoral College to the crowd. Photo by Ye Ming.
Students gathered in the Greenhorn Residence Hall for the Election Bash to watch the presidential election Nov. 6.

The event was held to get students more involved in politics, said Kailey Wilcoxen, a sophomore political science major and philosophy minor.

The event was sponsored by the ThunderWolf Residential Academic Community. Students were asked to predict whether a state’s Electoral College would vote democrat or republican, and people who guessed the closest could enter a drawing for a $10 iTunes gift card.

The organizers of the events were Wilcoxen of the history, political science and philosophy TRAC, Jordan Boehme, a sophomore mass communications and Spanish double major, of the media and popular culture TRAC, and Kacey Fromm, a junior accounting and Spanish double major, of the business TRAC.

“(The event was organized) to get students on campus more involved in activities that are fun but also oriented towards different issues going on in the world,” Wilcoxen said.

Samuel Ebersole and Richard Joyce, professors of mass communications, were invited to attend the event.

“We (mass communications department) started a year ago participating in the TRAC program, primarily for the mass communications students who live in the dorms,” Joyce said.

The event was co-hosted by the Residence Halls Association.

“We wanted to do a voting program, so we decided to join together with the TRAC community so we could have more people coming to one event and get both names out there to have a bigger, better event,” said Kalie De’Sevren Jacquet, RHA president of the CSU-Pueblo Chapter.

At the end of the night, five winners, out of the seven who predicted the closest to the turnout, were chosen to receive the prizes.

Jarrod Merryman, a senior political science and sociology major with a criminal justice emphasis, was one of the winners of the night. He predicted only two states incorrectly.

He predicted the results based on his research on past elections, Merryman said.

“There were some states I had switched up because I figured they were going to go a different way,” he said.

Joyce, as the guest speaker for the night, explained to the crowd what the Electoral College is and how the electoral votes are different from popular votes.

“What happens tonight is our votes pick those nine people (electors),” Joyce said. Although the people are only electing the electors for the President, it doesn’t mean the individual vote won’t count, he said.

In other words, qualified voters go out on Election Day to vote for a particular candidate. This is called the popular vote. Once the particular candidate wins a majority of popular vote, designated people cast their votes for the corresponding candidate.

In Colorado’s case, nine electoral votes are triggered by whichever candidate wins out in the popular vote.

Students also asked questions about the implication of statistics on the television screen and if it’s possible to have the President and Vice President from different parties.

“The scenario could be President Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden, and vise versa,” Joyce said. “There are surprises that happen in every election and you just can’t make the predication too early.”

The RHA advertised the Election Bash throughout the residence halls as well as provided food for the event.

“(It was) the first time the TRAC floors and RHA have teamed up,” said RHA adviser, Karl DeGolier.