Election depression grips students

Kerry supporters re-evaluate goals

Rob Famigletti, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs and a Sen. John Kerry supporter, said he couldn't get out of bed Wednesday.

"I couldn't deal with the fact that all the hard work we did resulted in failure," Famigletti said.

Famigletti's feelings are similar to some other Kerry supporters who expected an entirely different outcome on Nov. 3.

"I called my dad right after, and I seriously cried," said Heather Marrinson, a sophomore in the School of International Service who also supported Kerry. "I feel like a lot of civil liberties are going to be lost, I feel like a lot of civil rights will be lost, I feel like my rights as a woman will be lost."

Counseling Center Director Abigail Lipson said such strong emotional reactions are normal after last week's election.

"The more significant the event and the more emotionally invested you feel in it, the stronger your reactions will be," Lipson said in an e-mail. "Normal reactions include, for example, strong feelings of elation, or anger, or pride, or shame, or hope, or fear - depending on your values and opinions."

People who are already emotionally fragile, such as students who are clinically depressed or extremely stressed, could have a stronger reaction, Lipson added.

Lindsey Marburger, a freshman in SIS, described her reaction to Bush's victory as "a state of suspended disbelief."

However, several Kerry supporters said Thursday night that it was important to live with Bush's victory.

"Initially, I was embarrassed to be a citizen of this country," Marrinson said. "I was really, really upset, but now my focus is to do all I can to change what's been put on the plate."

Aimee Weiss, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences who supported Kerry, said there was no point in moping about his loss.

"You have to get over it. You have to move on," Weiss said. "You wake up in the morning and you're still an American."

Kerry supporter Kia Gaillard, who was visiting her cousin at AU Thursday night, focused on the good that came out of last week's election, such as high voter turnout, she said.

"God's will was done," Gaillard said. "There's a reason Bush is in office, and like [Kerry] said, let the healing begin."

Students who feel like they are unable to cope with the election's outcome can call the Counseling Center at x3500, Lipson said.

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