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The Daily Tar Heel

Election Jitters Wrack Students

After a long night of waiting and anticipating the election results Tuesday, students and organization leaders had mixed emotions about the "too close to call" outcome in the presidential race.

"I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. watching the results, and all my friends and I were very tense," said junior biochemistry major Christine Dillon. "I very much wanted Al Gore to win and was frustrated with Ralph Nader's influence on the voting in states like Oregon and Wisconsin."

But some students expressed indifference in their presidential choice. "Both candidates endorse issues I feel strongly about," said junior Stephanie Sanders, who is studying child development and family studies. "Education is an extremely important issue."

Arvind Gopal, a junior economics major, revealed a less-than-optimistic opinion. "I don't care who wins because it's like picking the better of two evils."

Evan Brittain, a junior biology major and member of the UNC College Republicans, said he was more frustrated with the media coverage than the outcome or lack thereof.

"I wish the media were more conservative with their projections, no pun intended," he said. "It's better to report a result late and be right than report one early and often and be wrong."

Despite students' nail-biting over delayed results, campus leaders said they were pleased with their efforts to raise voter turnout among students.

Matt Tepper, director of voter registration and outreach for the UNC Young Democrats, expressed satisfaction with his group's effort.

"We took people to the polls until 7 p.m. and staffed all the sites," he said. "We were very successful and are happy with the high turnout in Orange County."

Chris Brook, president of Young Democrats, drove around campus all day Tuesday to promote Gore and encourage students to vote."You can't underestimate the power of just talking to people about candidates and voting," he said.

The overwhelming passage of the $3.1 billion higher education bond referendum also sparked some excitement among organization leaders. Robin Yamakawa, president of the Residence Hall Association, said she was glad the bond received so much support. "RHA endorsed the bond, and we were pleased to see it passed," she said.

Liz Gardner, vice president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, was also impressed with the outcome of the bond vote. "The student support for the bond was incredible, and it's great to see a commitment to higher education."

Looking to the future, Yamakawa said she is hopeful that students will maintain the level of interest they displayed in this year's elections. "It's exciting that everyone on campus is talking about the presidential race, and I hope people continue to be interested."

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