Security issues postpone election night party

By Kaiti Deerberg

Columbia’s Urban Music Association election night party on Nov. 4 was forced to be postponed due to security issues brought about by festivities in Grant Park.

CUMA planned its “Voters’ Block Party” for Nov. 4 in the Conaway Center at the 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Although it was announced on Oct. 30 classes were canceled Nov. 4 due to then senator Barack Obama’s rally in Grant Park, the Voters’ Block

Party was still planned to take place. The news of the postponement came from administration the morning of Nov. 3, said Jeff Shaffer, CUMA president.

“We decided to postpone the event strictly for security and safety reasons,” said Micki Leventhal, director of media relations at Columbia.

CUMA immediately began re-working the party and planning a Nov. 7 post-election celebration.

“We originally planned on a bipartisan celebration,” Shaffer said. “We were going to focus on celebrating our right to vote and student involvement in the election, while watching the results come in.”

The plans for the post-election party changed the focus of CUMA’s

intended celebration.

“Now we are just celebrating the election

of Barack Obama as our next president,” Shaffer said.

The postponement did not seem to affect the turnout for the event. Students lined up and waited to get into the Nov. 7 event at 6 p.m.

Some students; however, were disappointed about the postponement and change of focus.

“I was looking forward to the discussion and talking about the issues on election night,” freshman fashion major Jade Esco said. “This is more of a get-together and I don’t really see people talking about the issues.”

Senior interactive arts and media major Chris Porter agreed he was disappointed about the postponement and was looking forward to some debate at the originally planned Nov. 4 party.

“I was planning on attending the Nov. 4 party and was excited to watch Obama’s speech here,” Porter said. “But I am still happy to come out tonight and support.”

The postponement created opportunity for some students.

“I wasn’t going to come on Nov. 4 because I didn’t want to miss the actual Obama rally, so I am glad I could come celebrate tonight,” sophomore film and video major Eric Carthan said.

CUMA had scheduled entertainment for the Nov. 4 Election Day celebration and was able to reschedule all entertainment and activities for the new Nov. 7 post-election celebration.

Radio Station “Power 92” broadcasted live from the Conaway Center at the 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. The event was hosted by radio personalities The Hot Boyz, and DJ R-Dub spun records throughout the event. Columbia band Anti-Crew also performed at the party.

The event also boasted a free arcade room for partygoers. The room housed popular video games such as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.

Red Bull sponsored the event. Refreshments were also served and students feasted on Potbelly’s sandwiches.

Despite the change in plans, students’ spirits were high, and everyone was happy to celebrate Obama’s election.

“Bush is leaving a big mess,” Carthan said. “There are going to be big changes in America that we are all looking orward to.”