Jan 192009
Authors: Tyler Okland

Members of the CSU community eagerly packed into the Ramskeller Tuesday morning to catch a glimpse of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. As he approached the podium, the dimly lit bar erupted in cheers and applause as more than 200 students, faculty and alumni rushed for seats in the overcrowded bar.

Those who could not fit inside gathered in the exterior dining area and lounge in the basement of the Lory Student Center. Many sat. Some stood.

As he took the stage, Obama immediately addressed the seriousness and difficulties that lay ahead in the future of the county, which he described as “gathering clouds and raging storms.” He also said that he would immediately remove the troops stationed in Iraq, and that he wants to better relations between America and the Islamic world.

“We will extend a hand to you, if you are willing unclench your fist,” he said as he made a speech politicians have hailed as one that attempted to reach out to the world; not just the people of America.

“I feel like it is a new beginning, a new chance for America to be a better country,” said senior Languages, Literatures and Cultures major Monica Harris while Obama gave his address.

She said she was not surprised at the generous amount of support Obama was receiving at CSU.

“I think that as college students at CSU we are a democratic society and we all felt that is was a time for a change,” she said. “I feel like we followed him (Obama) along his journey to the White House and he is finally there.”

Other students, who, even though they did not vote for the man calling for change, said that they were able to accept his nomination and would support him as president

“I didn’t vote for Obama but now that he’s president he has my full support and I hope that he can overcome the crises ahead,” said freshman mechanical engineering major Ivan Dzintars.

“You’ve got to give him credit; he’s a great speaker and he knows how to motivate,” Dzintars said.

Others were less optimistic about America’s future and the transition of power.

“Should I be excited about the rise of Socialism?” freshman John Scott asked a friend in his dorm room after the event. “No. I’m genuinely concerned with the future of America. But I really am hoping to be proven wrong; I’m going to give the new president my full support and hopefully he does a good job.” Scott was not present at the ‘Skellar during the inauguration.

The inauguration proved to be a star-studded one as California Pastor Rick Warren gave the invocation and music legends Aretha Franklin and Yo-Yo Ma performed. After the speech, Washington crowds cheered and waved goodbye as George W. Bush flew overhead in a helicopter and ended a historical eight-year term in Washington.

Staff writer Tyler Oakland can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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