University Obama supporters gather to see convention speech



By Paolo Cisneros

Junior in ACES and president of Students for Barack Obama Jake Hendee stood leaning against the fence, watching the TV from the other side. At times, he seemed overcome with emotion, burying his face in his arms to hide his enormous smile.

Just a few feet away, inside the tiny one-bedroom apartment, more than 40 other University students stood shoulder to shoulder, sweating profusely, their eyes fixated on the screen in front of them.

Almost 1,000 miles away in Denver history was being made.

As Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, members of Students for Barack Obama and College Democrats held a watch party in the apartment of Crystal Olsen, media director for Students for Barack Obama.

“This is what we’ve been working towards for so long now,” said Olsen, senior in LAS. “It’s just incredible.”

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Attendance overflowed into the front yard of the apartment where Hendee stood watching the speech.

“It’s been such an amazing experience to be part of this campaign,” he said. “This is one step closer to bringing about real change.”

The apartment was cramped, humid, and there weren’t enough chairs for most to sit in. But despite it all, many said the chance to watch the historic speech was more than worth the uncomfortable conditions.

“There’s so much excitement for Barack on this campus,” Hendee said. “He puts so much hope into these students, and it’s because he has a really great plan for this country.”

The event’s guest list even included Carl Stream, a registered Republican and junior in LAS.

Stream, who endorses Obama, said the senator’s speech helped reaffirmed his belief in Obama’s campaign.

“I think he laid out a lot of his policies really well,” he said. “I really believe he’s the right candidate for this new era.”

At multiple times throughout the address, the apartment erupted in applause for Obama as he laid out his plan for the coming months.

At its conclusion, attendees filed out of the apartment in an attempt to escape the heat of its interior.

Many said they left with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the Obama campaign.

The speech also helped reaffirm to some that Obama’s vision for the country’s future goes beyond his words, Hendee said.

“These people aren’t here because Barack is a good speaker,” Hendee said. “They’re here because they believe in his campaign.”