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Comments from the November 3, 2004 Conversation Dinner

SUMMARY COMMENTS FROM RECENT CONVERSATION DINNER

Conversation Dinner
November 3, 2004

5:00pm - 7:00pm
Multipurpose Room

Vassar College

"The Day After: 2004 Presidential Election"
The 2004 Presidential Election was projected to be a close race. Were the issues, as framed in the debates and through media coverage, ones that resonate with you?

What impact might the election results have on the nation? The campus Community?


Atmosphere on campus was very condescending-lack of political diversity

Disgusted in youth voter turn-out. Youth Organizations were able to mobilize people to register, but didn't follow up for the vote. 

Pro-Kerry supporters are having a very difficult day, invested a lot of time and energy to work on his campaign. Very emotional day.

This election reminds me of the Reagan Election when the youth were disengaged. Expressed this disillusionment in music.

Students who supported Kerry feel like they were punched in the stomach. But they must mobilize and keep trying because big changes are coming.

This situation grounds the Vassar community and brings us to reality. Vassar students may be feeling what it is really like to be in the "minority" of United States citizens with regards to "liberal" values.

Students who are feeling vulnerable about Kerry not winning the race need to be pro-active.

One student went to Ohio to canvas and knocked on doors to mobilize people to vote. I'm feeling disillusioned, that it doesn't matter.

I feel like I don't belong---not in Mainstream America --- feeling not okay. People voted their morals/beliefs. How do you mobilize around morals? Perhaps mobilization is elitism.

People off campus might believe their vote doesn't count due to the last Presidential election. Bush got to be president even though he didn't get the popular vote. They may have lost faith in the election process.

There's a statistic that 1 out of 10 youth voted---that actually is a good turnout.

International students on campus seem to know more about politics than Americans.

Didn't think gay marriage was going to become a national issue. Eleven states had a referendum to ban gay marriage.

People upset because what mobilized some people for this election was gay marriage.

Bush has totally manipulated the Christian base.

How do we bring back the concept of church and state? It seems like the church and state have merged.

If Kerry had won the election, there still would be many issues to face. People need to deal with the current issues and this disappointment is just another occasion to focus our efforts on change.

Scared about the next four years and beyond, especially regarding the new cabinet appointments and the Republican majority in both the House and the Senate.

By publishing the notes from the dinner dialogues, we hope to create further opportunities for meaningful exchanges throughout the Vassar community. It is CLRG's earnest belief that dialogue can lead to a transformative experience.