More than 100 people packed the Belmont Residence Hall lobby area, to watch the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. It was standing room only as faculty, staff and students gathered to watch the historic event on a projection screen.
Daneya Esgar, a Student Activities Director at Colorado State University-Pueblo, organized the event. She said she felt it was such a historic moment she wanted to celebrate it and help students celebrate it. She provided breakfast and hung balloons to help provide an air of festivity.
Aaron Johnson, an 18-year-old freshman, said he was happy President Obama is the first black president.
Bilal Carter, also an 18-year-old freshman, said he was excited about Obama becoming president and that he is living through something that will one day be of historical significance.
Many students acknowledged of the significance of the event and what it might mean.
Karen Smith, 44, is a junior, majoring in social work, with a son in the military. She said she thinks President Obama is better than President Bush and hopes he is up to the task.
“If he can pull it off, it will be great,” Smith said. “The economy needs all the help it can get. The schools need all the help they can get. If he could end the war, that would be awesome, that would mean my son wouldn’t have to go back.”
Jennifer Peters, associate professor of music, said she has not missed watching a Presidential Inauguration since 1963.
“I was very impressed by the forcefulness of President Obama’s speech,” Peters said. She said his tone of voice when he said “know this America” was what struck her the most.
It was “very authoritative, not authoritarian,” she said.
Janell Farris, 24, a junior, majoring in social work, was watching for a class project. While she said she has hope “great things” will happen, she said she knows it is “not going to be overnight.” Farris said she enjoyed Obama’s speech.
“I thought his speech was great. I thought it was articulate,” Farris said. She also noted it was thoughtful and included everyone.
During the inauguration, Obama and Chief Justice Roberts stumbled over the wording of the oath of office, as the captivated audience in Belmont Residence Hall laughed, breaking the tense moments of anticipation.
Esgar said she was very happy with the turnout, and not only to see how many people came to see the inauguration, but also that those who came were so enthralled there weren’t many people talking, or using their cell phones.
“I was excited to see that everyone stopped to see it,” Esgar said of the students who came into the lobby and were so captivated they stood suspended in contrast to the normal pandemonium.