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The Collegian News Blog

Research this Week

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Emily Reynolds
Collegian Staff

The University of Massachusetts Amherst gets a lot of funding from the federal government. Close to 70 percent of the money for research on campus comes from federal agencies. Just over $6.5 million of that funding comes from the Department of Defense.

Research from the DOD comes from four places, Navy, Army, Air Force, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While most students have heard of the three branches of military that give the school money, very few have probably heard of DARPA.
The point of DARPA is to imagine what the US military will need in the future for any endeavor that they take on, and start planning and building for it today. In their words, they want to stop technological surprises for our military and create them for adversaries. Basically, they take a lot of different science and research and see how it can be used for the military.

The agency has five offices: Defense Sciences Office, Information Processing Techniques Office, Microsystems Technology Office, Strategic Technology Office, and Tactical Technology Office.
Each office has dozens of ongoing projects. According to a chart on their website, www.darpa.mil, the agency has around a $7 billion budget for science and technology programs for the armed services.

At UMass, DARPA funded a Disruption Tolerant Networking project, which put devices into 40 buses on the UMass campus in 2005. The point was to "provide network services when no end-to-end path exists through the network." Basically, it creates a way to communicate in areas where the normal means of communication can be destroyed or degraded for long periods of time. It can be used in war zones or during natural disasters.
posted by Collegian Staff, 3:01 AM | link | 1 comments |

SGA brings it 'Back to the People'

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Southwest area government representatives are seeking feedback from Southwest residents to improve future functions.

In an effort to gain insight from members of the Southwest Community, last Tuesday, the South West Area Government and the Southwest Senators presented information at the about past and upcoming events for this year. The talks were dubbed as a "Back to the People" event, and although few members of the Southwest community attended, members of SGA and SWAG intend to act upon their suggestions.

Some of the suggestions included:

- creating a bi-weekly newsletter about SGA and SWAG that would be sent out electronically for anyone interested
- holding an energy conservation contest
The contest would determine how much water and energy is used by each building in Southwest. Prize for the most energy-efficient has not been determined.
- fixing the "noise problems" during weekdays
Evidently, you, the pan flute and drum playing band member, you are an irritating problem at 3 a.m.
- posting minutes on the SGA website to increase communication between SGA and the students

Currently, SWAG places its minutes on their blog located at blogs@umass.edu/SWAG. As SWAG's goal this year is to increase communication with Southwest residents, members have been sending out weekly facebook messages with updates on their activity.

So far this year, SWAG has hosted a band called Stephanian from Boston, aided in the House Council recruitment and election process, and hosted an event known as Southwest Saturday. Southwest Saturday was held in early October, and it featured a BBQ party on the patio between Berkshire and Hampshire.

Southwest governor Chris Faulkner said all the events so far had been a success.

Alyssa Creamer can be reached at acreamer@student.umass.edu.
posted by Collegian Staff, 8:41 PM | link | 0 comments |

Reseach This Week

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Emily Reynolds, Collegian Staff

Last month, the new chancellor, Robert Holub, announced that he was going to appoint a new vice chancellor specifically for Research and Engagement. He came in the form of Paul Kostecki.
It seems that UMass wants to be a leading research institution, something that the administration has been saying for years and has been working towards.
While I do not know if UMass is a premiere research institution, here are some of the facts:
- $135,318,332 awarded for research in 2008
- 1,194 research awards that get the money
- $126,000,000 for research expenditures

All of these are new highs for UMass, with funds going up three percent from last year even with a declining economy.

The majority of the money comes from the federal government, and out of that, nearly half comes from the National Science Foundation. Surprisingly, only seven percent of the money comes from the Department of Defense.

As for specific programs that rank highly in the US, here are some of those:
- US News and World Report lists linguistics as the number 1 program
- National Research Council ranks Polymer as number 2 in the nation
- UMass gives out 27 percent of the nation’s polymer science PhD’s
- In 2004, the London Times ranked the UMass system as 45 from the top 200 school in the world

You can find out all about the new position of Research and Engagement and everything that gets done by going to the website: http://www.umass.edu/research/welcome.html
Emily Reynolds can be reached at ereynold@student.umass.edu.
posted by Collegian Staff, 2:59 PM | link | 1 comments |

COLLEGIAN CALLS ELECTION FOR OBAMA

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Collegian is ready at this point to call the election for Senator Barack Obama from Illinois.

With California and its 55 electoral votes almost certainly in Obama's column, he now only needs to win one of Virginia, Florida, Colorado or Indiana - all races he is currently leading, but are too close to call.
posted by Collegian Staff, 10:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Democrats get psyched

So, I know who is going to be super duper happy tonight. It totally looks like Obama has not only won this, but slapped the McCain administration across the face. The race is not even close.

I remember being younger and wondering what amazing feat against racism or sexism would come first. Would a the first Black man become President or would the first woman become President? 

Now, it looks like history really will be made. Instead of an old, white guy preparing for the Oval Office, Obama will be the first Black President of the United States. 

He just won Virginia. It's 11 p.m. The polls have now officially closed. This is really happening. Textbooks will have a significant new passage. 

Today, I watched a "rally" by the UMass Democrats. Although only a small group shouted voting reminders to students across campus, this is probably because most students were already busy voting for Obama, and also probably because not many students knew about the rally. 

Either way, students in Amherst really turned out for this election. And a lot of them contributed to the making of history. Kudos, voters. An increase in youth voters is truly something students should be proud of. 

posted by Collegian Staff, 10:48 PM | link | 3 comments |

State votes to ban dog racing

The Boston Globe is reporting Massachusetts has voted "yes" on ballot Question 3 to abolish dog racing.


-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 10:31 PM | link | 3 comments |

Question two passes, marijuana decriminalized

According the The Boston Globe, and WBUR of Boston, Massachusetts voters have passed Question 2, a proposal to lessen the penalties from a criminal to a civil offense for people caught with one ounce or less of marijuana.


-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 9:38 PM | link | 0 comments |

Obama projected winner of Ohio

ABC and MSNBC are projecting Barack Obama has won Ohio. This, after both outlets called Pennsylvania in his favor.

Overall, Obama has been projected to have won 195 of the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the election, while McCain has won 85, says MSNBC.com.

Obama's victory in Ohio has not been announced at his campaign headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz., according to CNN.

There's doesn't seem to be much hope for the McCain-Palin ticket at the moment.


-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 9:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

Mass. voters choose "no" on Question 1, Sen. Kerry re-elected

According to an article by Eric Moskowitz of The Boston Globe, Massachusetts voters chose "no" on ballot Question 1 to eliminate the state's income tax, meaning there will be no change.

The Associated Press called the results for Question 1 at 8:45 p.m.

The same ballot question was also defeated in 2002 by a "slim margin," the article said.

The Globe also reported Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry has been re-elected defeating GOP candidate Jeffrey Beatty.

The Associated Press called Kerry the victor shortly after 8 p.m. when the polls closed.


-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 9:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

Journey to the East Coast

I headed to the east coast of Massachusetts to vote in my home town of Bedford today. At 6 p.m. there were still a steady number of people streaming in, though there were no lines in the town of about 13,000 people. 


While at the polls I was able to speak with Town Clerk Doreen Tremblay


Tremblay said that as of 6:30 p.m. ET about 7,000 people had voted, out of the 9,000 registered voters. Tremblay said she expected close to a 90 percent voter turnout by the end of the night, up from around an 85 percent turnout in 2004. 


A number of factors were bringing voters out to the polls in Bedford


Resident Wieslaw Brys said security in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine, as well as the Middle East was what brought him to the polls. He said he was pretty much against all of the ballot measures.


Lawrence Pruyne said Question 2 was the most important ballot question for him "Decriminalization of Marijuana? Forget it, it's a gateway drug."


Noreen O'Gara said Question 1 was on her mind as she went into the polls. "I'm an advocate for education, it's the safety net that we all need, for libraries, for public health, so that question was very important to me." O'Gara said she thought we were losing income as a state by not having fewer penalties for marijuana possession, and by making it legal and taxing it the state could tap into a new source of revenue. 


"I also care about the dogs too," she added


- Ben Williams

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posted by Collegian Staff, 8:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Pennsylvania goes to Obama

ABC has just called Pennsylvania for Obama, considered one of the most important cornerstones to winning the electoral college. 

It will be much more difficult for McCain to win without Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes, and was where McCain dedicated much of his time and money in the last few weeks leading up to the election.

Our state of Massachusetts has, predictably, gone for Obama.
posted by Collegian Staff, 8:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Not sure what to make of this

After 1 percent of precincts reported, The New York Times awarded Florida to Barack Obama. Considering the importance of Florida in the outcome of the election, you'd think one of the world's most respected newspapers would wait until more concrete results filter in to award such a crucial state.

Whether or not Obama wins Florida, it seems unnecessary to so quickly award the 27 votes that come along with a victory in Florida. 
posted by Collegian Staff, 7:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

The first results are in!

The following states closed at 7 and 7:30 p.m. ET : Vermont, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and West Virginia. 

The rest of the east coast a long with Illinois, Alabama,, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Missouri

Most of the results are being called via exit polls, which are not necessarily to be trusted
posted by Collegian Staff, 7:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

McCain takes Kentucky, Obama wins Vermont

John McCain just was declared the winner in Kentucky and Obama has won Vermont, according to NBC.

Since I'm a Vermonter born and raised I would like to comment on Obama's victory. This is the most expected victory in political history. The last time I was up there it seemed like practically everyone was in love with the Senator from Illinois. His credentials as Vermont's president of choice were also helped by the fact that he is the only 2008 presidential candidate--and the first major party candidate in years--to visit the Green Mountain State.

But Vermont's decidely liberal bent and the shear domination of state politics by the Democratic Party for the last 20 years or so make it an easy victory. Only two counties, my own one of Rutland and the rural Northeast Kingdom county of Essex have any real Republican presence anymore and only Essex voted for Bush in 2004.

- Matt Robare
posted by Collegian Staff, 7:02 PM | link | 0 comments |

A question of representation

So my mission today was a simple one: to interview UMass students at the polling places about their reaction to having to vote for Senator in General Court, for which the two candidates are Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg (D) and Keith C. McCormic (R).

I decided to go to the polling place at Wildwood Elementary School, Amherst, since it was in close proximity to campus and since that is where most students were voting.

I headed out. But of course I take the wrong turn out of the campus and walk in the opposite direction, only to find myself at the North Fire Station, also a polling place, but one lacking any UMass voters. So I walk back the way I came, past campus, and onward to Wildwood Elementary; at least I was pleased with the long lines and numerous UMass students who I could interview about their thoughts on the candidates for Senator in General Court.

As I stood near the building exit (from where people left after voting), I spoke to several students, one of whom was even an alum. I didn’t know what to expect; maybe students had a very good idea about the candidates and what they stood for, or maybe they had no idea.

It turns out the majority of students whom I talked to fell into the latter category. Most students said they had never heard of either candidate and as a result, they either refrained from voting or voted for the party and not the candidate specifically.

Although one student did say that she did some research before coming to the polls, I think I can come to the general conclusion that neither candidate is well-known by students, and on the students’ part, that they didn’t take the time to make themselves aware that they would have to vote for Senator in General Court. Well, that gives us something to think about.

- Shalini Jayarama
posted by Collegian Staff, 5:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

An Anarchist Votes?

What pray tell, was an anarchist doing voting today? Well, I'm an anarchist and I didn't vote today. I voted by absentee ballot because I'm from Vermont. I really don't know why I voted at all; the last smouldering ember of civic duty and good citizenship drilled into me at public schools.

I proudly wrote-in Ron Paul for president and Andrew Napolitano for vice-president. I doubt they'll win, but now I won't have any guilt for whatever atrocities McCain or Obama might commit. At the more local level I voted a broader line, my old science teacher's wife ran for State Senate so I checked off her name. I also voted to re-elect Jim Douglas governor not out of political conviction but because I think it's better for executives and legislatures to be opposed to one another.

But I'm still an anarcho-capitalist and I still voted. In a way I feel ashamed at betraying my principles of no government. I was reading just today about how "I voted" stickers are red--the red of coercion, state violence, war and government theft. We voters have blood on our hands and in many cases it is our own blood. Instead of fighting those who endevour to take our property and liberty we vote on how much we will let the theives take.

Yes, I voted today, and I'm sorry for it.

- Matthew R. Robare
posted by Collegian Staff, 5:33 PM | link | 0 comments |

Voting against propaganda

There's only a few hours left in the polls so, if you haven't yet, GO VOTE!

That being said, please, I beg of you, please don't be ignorant in your choice. I'm not advocating one candidate over another (although I do have my personal choice), but I am imploring all voters to educate themselves, at least a little, before casting their ballot.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I've had a number of conversations with people supporting all sides of the ballot. From Nader/Gonzales to Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin, I've heard praise and criticisms abound.

A friend of mine begged me to not vote for McCain. "He doesn't know what he's doing and he's so old, he'll die in office," she said. "If that happens, Palin will be president and she'll start a war." Are McCain and Palin really as innept as she says? Of course not. Even more importantly, aren't we already in a war? These candidates wouldn't have the support of however many millions of Americans if they couldn't get the job done. If Palin does end up being president, will it be the end of the world? No. Even if she is as terrible as my friend says, she has dozens of advisers (and Congress) so she doesn't go astray.

Today, a co-worker came up to me and told me she was still undecided. I encouraged her to do some backgrounding on the candidates, to check out their stances on issues important to her before she decided. Another co-worker overheard this and came over. "You can't vote for Obama," she said. "He's friends with terrorists. And he's communist." She continued, telling us that if Obama wins, America will be thrown into a terrorist-loving, Muslim, socialistic, economic disaster. I was blown away. I tried to convince her that what she heard was just propaganda, but she wouldn't listen. She couldn't understand how I didn't see this by just looking at him. I had to just shake my head and walk away.

So, please, vote for a candidate or vote against a candidate. I don't care. Just do a little research. Hear a rumor about McCain lighting burlap sacks of puppies on fire? How about the one where Obama eats kittens smothered in hollandaise sauce for brunch? Don't take my word for it. Go double check it with a reliable source, I'll even point you in the right direction...

- David Humphreys
posted by Collegian Staff, 5:11 PM | link | 0 comments |

School buses, soccer moms and an election

Granted, my timing was bad, but having a poor voting experience is never a good thing.

Precinct 6 in Amherst, the Fort River School on South East St. was a mess.
Deciding to vote mid afternoon was definitely a poor decision, since I didn’t get over there until 3 p.m. – right when the elementary school was letting out its students.

I walked into the voting area, which resembled a converted kindergarten classroom, that was much too small for the constant stream of people that were arriving.

This brought up one interesting question. Why wasn’t the University able to secure funding to be able to have a voting booth in the Cape Cod Lounge, much like in the gubernatorial election? Or even Amherst High School, I’m sure there could have been a bigger room or even a more private way to vote than the method I just participated in.

I picked up my state ballot, but when I went to the second table to grab my ballot for the Amherst select board, I was met with an incredulous face.

“You know this is for the town of Amherst select board,” said the woman at the table.

“Yes,” I replied and rattled off my street name. “In Amherst,” I proceeded to emphasize.

Ma’am, just because I look like a college student does not mean that I haven’t been a resident of Amherst for four years – much like the rest of you upstanding, Amherst citizens. I’ve even spent the last year and a half living solely in Amherst, living on campus, contributing much more money than I probably should have to your local businesses and also paying rent in an apartment in Amherst. So let me have my select board ballot, please. I live here too.

I shuffled over to the scrunched and crowded, white booths. But with people filtering around and behind me it was hard to concentrate – or to even feel like I wasn’t projecting who I was voting for to the entire kindergarten classroom.

I left frustrated, although it only took me a total of 15 minutes to vote. I didn’t consider my experience too terrible – until I tried to exit the parking lot.

If voter competence was measured by driving ability, I’m pretty sure about half the people in that parking lot wouldn’t have been able to vote this Nov. 4.

Despite almost being hit by about three soccer moms as I was pulling out of my space, I waited another quarter of an hour for the buses to pull out of the lot. The intersection exiting the Fort River School is a dangerous one, and investing in a traffic officer probably would have been a better decision than just letting cars run wild.

Although my 2008 Amherst voting experience wasn’t bad enough to make me never vote again, hopefully the next time around we might be able to secure a different location – without the big, yellow school buses.

- Kate Olesin
posted by Collegian Staff, 4:49 PM | link | 0 comments |

Cat calls and phone calls

I have yet to vote today due to the 3 hours of class I had, the time I spent interviewing students, the article I just wrote for tomorrow and the three meals I ate to suppress my never-ending appetite. But on my way from the DC to class to the library to student union and then back to the DC, I have notice the large amount of activists on campus that are in support of Barack Obama.

I have yet to see one McCain supporter walking around campus wearing a “McCain National Leadership Team” pin or lobbying their opinions with a microphone in support of McCain.

What I have seen is an enormous amount of shirts and pins endorsing Obama and of course the two kids with a microphone yelling out ridiculous comments in an effort to get students to vote.

Seems as if the majority of students that walk around campus during the day are Obama fans …Maybe the McCain supporters only come out at night … I have no idea.

I stopped by the student union to talk to some people at the phone bank which was organized by UMass for Barack Obama.

When I got there what I saw was dozens of UMass students cooped up in room 407 of the student union spending every second reciting their pre-written speech over the phone in effort to get people to vote for Barack Obama.

These students are extremely devoted to supporting Barack Obama and I know so because of their willingness to replicate the same speech endlessly throughout the day.

Around lunch time one volunteer got the answering machine around 12 straight times and had to leave messages. These volunteers are pretty devoted; imagine reciting a page-long speech for 40 minutes to an answering machine. That’s some serious determination.

“UMass for Barack Obama has had great reception ever since we started in 2007,” Media and Publicity Coordinator, Ashley Coulombe said. “Students at UMass really have love for Barack Obama.”
posted by Collegian Staff, 4:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

An early call

The vast majority of Amherst's registered voters are voting "Yes" on Question 4 - and more probably would if they knew what Question 4 was.

If "Yes" wins, the Community Preservation Act surcharge will double to 3 percent, ensuring that the town gets an additional $300,000 from the state to fund affordable housing and the preservation of the town.

Voters exiting the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Amherst almost unanimously said (after being reminded which one that was) that they voted "Yes" on the initiative.

When asked why they voted "Yes," some said they wanted to help preserve the college town. Others simply gave an "I dunno."

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian is calling it now, before any other news source: Amherst residents have voted "Yes" on Question 4.
posted by Collegian Staff, 4:01 PM | link | 0 comments |

The long march back (Part 2)

"Do it again - just not today."

Those were the wise words of the nice old man with the handlebar mustache and the suit who showed me just how to press the buttons and vote for my candidates of choice.

I voted at Maple Point Middle School, where I spent the formative and hellish years of my life. There were about 80 people milling around complete with several nicely dressed politicians ready to pounce on the unsuspecting public as they entered the cafeteria.

There were eight polling stations with blue curtains wrapped around each one. Most people looked restless waiting for their turn to vote. The middle-aged woman in front of me, dressed in a Phillies jacket, turned around and said to no one in particular, "I didn't come all the over here not to vote."

Justification for the journey across the street. Everyone who voted at Maple Point lives in the neighborhoods directly across or adjacent to the school. I nodded in agreement.

The drive back to Amherst was again uneventful. But here are the highlights nonetheless:

-five dead deer on the side of the road in New Jersey (including the one killed last night marked with an orange X)

A special thanks to my poor car. Its been kicking for 10 years now and just recently celebrated its 100,000 mile. It struggled through the 600 miles to and from PA but it survived. The gas stations in New Jersey where despite the fact they pump for you, it's always cheaper. My mom for the $10 she contributed to my journey. And Dave Sedaris for putting his book "Naked" on CD.

Melissa

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posted by Collegian Staff, 3:18 PM | link | 0 comments |

Voting on Questions 1 & 2

All of the 14 voters questioned at the Immanuel Lutheran Church polling station (Precinct 3) on North Pleasant Street said they either had voted or expected to vote "no" on Question 1 to repeal the state income tax.

Eleven of those same 14 voters said they were in favor of voting "yes" on Question 2 to decriminalize marijuana. Two others planned to vote "no," while another said he was still undecided on Question 2.

The group was a mix of Amherst residents and University of Massachusetts students.

The reasons behind the "no" votes on the first ballot question focused on the country's and state's current economic struggles and maintaining funding for state education.

"It's absurd not to vote 'no' because so many services would be killed in the state," said Amherst resident Mark Dooley concerning Question 1. "I can't imagine someone voting in favor of it."
"As far as the proposition questions go, I am an out-of-stater, and I’m already paying out-of-state tuition," said Josh Rakower, a freshman journalism major. "So, if the income tax gets abolished then I’m paying a lot more, and I don’t know if I can come back to school then."

Question 2 supporters mainly cited crowded prisons and felt the current punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana is unfair.

"I think the police arresting people for having marijuana are wasting time and money," said Lucy Perkins a freshman biology major at UMass.

However, others like Amherst resident Eric Johnson disagreed.

"Marijuana leads to much worse drug addictions," Johnson said. "If 99 percent of the police force are against it, then so am I because they know better than I do."

Some did not wish to disclose their choice for presidential candidate, however the majority said they support Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

About 10 voters declined to comment at all wishing to keep their decisions private.


-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 1:27 PM | link | 0 comments |

SGA busing in progress

As of 12:25 p.m, the Student Government Association (SGA) has transported 177 University of Massachusetts students to their polling locations. In some cases, students are reporting that this is making a dent in UMass' voter turnout. Sophomore Irving Tara said the chances of him voting today "maybe would've been 50/50" if it weren't for the SGA.

"I'm not even sure how far the Lutheran Church is from UMass, I think it's helping students a lot," he said.

"It's really valuable that they [the SGA] are providing rides... I know a lot of people who would not be able to vote if not for the free rides," agreed sophomore Rand Nashi. She also commented that she's been getting text messages from friends asking where to find rides to the polls.

SGA President Malcolm Chu, who is coordinating the student busing, commented that the turnout has been huge so far, and the event is boosting the general mood on campus.
posted by Collegian Staff, 12:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

UMass students flock to polls early

Several UMass students wasted little time taking advantage of the Student Government Association's precinct busing campaign. Around 9:30 a.m. UMass time, more than 20 students rode to Precinct 3, the Immanuel Lutheran Church on North Pleasant Street in Amherst, to cast their ballots.

Precinct constable and UMass alumnus Willie Wheeler, 59, of Amherst commented that most of the early turnout was students.

"[The busing] helps a lot," he said. "It makes it easier for students. They have a lot classes and some of them don't know where the church is, and the youth vote is very important."

Even with the influx of student voters and those of other age groups, Precinct 3's lines moved quickly, getting voters checked in, voted and on their way. Voters often complain about long lines at various Precincts, but Amherst Precincts experienced very little delay in the first few hours of today's election. At Wildwood Elementary School on Strong Street, Precinct 9, the wait time was no more than 20 minutes at any point this morning.

This is not the case in other states, however. Earlier this morning, CNN reported that voters in Richmond, Va., experienced long waits at the polls due to malfunctioning voting machines. Some precincts reported up to 3-hour waits, according to CNN. Click here for complete coverage.

Virginia is crucial state in the election, according to many political news outlets. A Democrat has not carried the historically conservative Commonwealth since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Long lines could discourage some from turning out. Real Clear Politics lists the state as a dead heat at the moment. The 13 votes at stake are crucial for Senator John McCain if he plans to defeat Obama.

The UMass voters who did make it to the polls this morning seemed to be leaning toward Senator Barack Obama. Jarrod Shirley, sophomore, turf grass management major credits Obama's "youth and energy" in earning his vote.

"I feel like the typical president in my lifetime has been an old, white man. And the current president has really made me sway against the Republican party," Shirley said this morning after voting at Precinct 9.
posted by Collegian Staff, 11:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

Early observation

The SGA's student bussing operation is being used so far, though peak hours are expected to be between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and after 4:00 p.m.
Not too many early risers, but who can blame them?

Amherst Election Official Dale Carew said she's been busy preparing for today -- that this election got her excited. She's worked primaries and local elections, but a smile and a sigh said this should be more hectic.

Carew is working at Precinct 3 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, which will be handling the bulk of the UMass population. She said if her bulky folder of registered voters in any indication, turnout will be good. Her tip: Bring proper I.D. Be it mail, driver's license or a passport, identification must prove identity and current address.
posted by Collegian Staff, 10:13 AM | link | 0 comments |

Dixville goes to Obama

Dixville Notch, N.H., returned the first election ballots in the nation last night. Barack Obama won easily, but John McCain shouldn't be too concerned. The small county in northeastern New Hampshire cast 21 ballots, 15 of which went for senator Obama.

For a complete report, click this.

Check back here throughout the day for complete coverage of the election in both Amherst and around the country.
posted by Collegian Staff, 8:50 AM | link | 1 comments |

Schlepping to the polls


I have spent the past half hour quickly refreshing myself on the PA ballot questions. It's time to hit the voting booth, pull a lever and drive back to Amherst. Currently, unlike the rest of the deep blue Northeast, PA is only sky blue, "leaning towards Obama," as the RealClearPolitics Electoral Map suggests.

The only other states "leaning" are Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.

Not that the polls at 9 a.m. on Election Day morning are all that accurate.

-Melissa

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posted by Collegian Staff, 8:49 AM | link | 0 comments |

Early Activity

So far today, it's fog and campaign signs.

The bus ride to campus, however clouded by the mist and a significant lack of caffeine, revealed that most signs were for the Amherst Select Board candidates. We'll see if that changes as the hours pass toward a time when reporters (and student activists) are usually awake.

The SGA, UMass Dems and the UMass Republican Club, together with Advancing Democracy and MassPIRG and other groups, have waited quite awhile for today. A major push was made to pass out absentee ballots, but each is hoping those who registered in Amherst are present today.

For those interested in the last leg of the horse race, this map will help keep an eye on swing states and the electoral college. It will take you off site, but ya'll come back now.
posted by Collegian Staff, 8:27 AM | link | 0 comments |

The long march home (Part One)

My absentee ballot never came. I applied for it perhaps a bit too late, or maybe it got lost in the mail, I'll never know. By this past weekend it became abundantly clear the ballot was never going to get to me in time. I felt guilty about the prospect of not voting so after my 6:30-9 p.m. class Monday night I decided to drive home.

I live in Pennsylvania - a five hour commute from Amherst. Some people might consider this move drastic, some felt it necessary. My mom thought I was crazy, but we do have a voting date tomorrow so she's content. For all intensive purposes my reasoning was more of a desire not to sit around my apartment until my 4 p.m. class agonizing over not voting in my first presidential election.

So here I am in my parents basement, the ultimate bloggers haven.

Highlights from a pretty uneventful journey home:

-I made it with out coffee or rest stops. Tomorrow I don't think I will be able to say the same.
-Driving at night took an extra half hour off my commute time.
-I toured the scenic cities of Springfield and Hartford on 84 West instead of the Berkshires on the Mass Pike (and the NY Thruway). There were a lot of trucks on the side of the road. It was weird.
-The truck in front of me on 31 South in New Jersey hit a deer. The deer stumbled and fell to its death right in my line of vision. Very disturbing.

It's 2 a.m. I have to sleep now despite what the managing editor thinks. I have to vote at about 9 a.m. so I can make it back to Amherst in time for my class (and a quick nap).

We do some crazy things for democracy.

Goodnight,
Melissa

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posted by Collegian Staff, 1:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

The Collegian election live blog!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Welcome to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian News Blog! 

We will use this forum to blog the 2008 presidential election live!

Be sure to check back frequently on Tuesday for breaking news on: 
  • Our reporters at polling stations
  • Editors watching election results
  • Live analysis of polling numbers
  • Reports coming from around UMass and the Amherst area
  • Who will be the next president of the United States!
Please feel free to leave your comments as the day goes on, we will be happy to respond. As always, you can join the conversation on our news forum, or comment on our stories online!

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posted by Collegian Staff, 1:42 AM | link | 1 comments |

Web This Blog

Comment Policy

The intent of this blog is to make available news and information that affects the University of Massachusetts community in a reliable manner, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. While encouraging the public to voice their own concerns, opinions and responses, the Daily Collegian asks that all commentators act civilly and professionally, and post with respect to one another and Collegian staff. Thank you.

Collegian News Staff

  • Michael King - Editor in Chief
  • Joseph Meloni - Managing Editor
  • William McGuinness - News Editor
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