US Election Watch In Manipal


As the Presidential elections for the 57th term came to its finale in the States, the US Consulate General, Chennai with the Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University held 'US Election Watch 2012' in Chaitya Hall, Fortune Inn Valley View on November 7. The Consulate simultaneously organized the event at Chennai and Trivandrum, with the three units constantly in touch through video streaming.

The hosts at the gathering were Mr. Nicholas Manring, Chief of the Consular Section who explained the electoral process in America and Shanna Dietz Surendra, Cultural Affairs Officer who conducted a quiz throughout the session. The interactive quiz was made up of two rounds, with the questions revolving around the elections held over the years and history of the numerous Presidents who’d served their time. The quiz was interrupted whenever the electoral results were being announced. This was broadcasted from one of the two screens placed on stage which had live updates from CNN. The other screen was split in two in order to show the activities at the halls in Chennai and Trivandrum. This was the first time the Consulate organized the Election Watch beyond Chennai.

Other interesting exercises included a mock polling session. The attendees could cast a vote for the President of their choice and the results of these, from all three locations were announced as predictions. Barack Obama turned out to be the winner by a large margin in this mock session too. Dr. Srinivasan, a social media expert from Colombia University interacted with the audience online, answering various questions they raised like the effect of online publicity through social media in the real elections. The speech by the United States Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, was also broadcasted in the hall.

The crowd comprising of students, both foreign exchange and Indian and faculty members were jubilant in their celebration whenever the results were being announced. Discussing their relief, predictions and expectations, they seemed to enjoy the participatory atmosphere. The Election Watch which started at 8:30 in the morning went on long after its estimated closing time of 12:00 as the enthusiastic audience of close to 200 stayed behind to listen to the concession speech of Mitt Romney as he congratulated the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Dr. H.S. Ballal, Pro Chancellor and Dr. H. Vinod Bhatt, Pro Vice Chancellor was present along with other MU officials at the inaugural function.

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us election , Manipal University


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