It has been nine days since one of the most publicized elections in U.S history came to an end, but the USF Tampa campus has already moved on, and it hasn’t had any difficulty transitioning back to University life as usual.
The campaign yard signs, posters, stickers and voter registration workers have ceased to cover the campus.
Physical Plant didn’t report any difficulties when it came to removing signs, stickers, chalk or posters from campus property.
Additionally, UP Spokeswoman Lt. Margaret Ross said there were no criminal or vandalism charges pressed against any USF students.
Just having the signs on campus — whether during election season or after — elicited a variety of opinions from students.
Philosophy major junior Kyle Guerrero said he thought chalk and stickers as a means of advertising were OK, but anything permanent was “just annoying.”
Seeing “Vote McCain” or president-elect Barack Obama’s “Change” signs all along campus didn’t sit well with Guerrero.
“I think it is vandalism. I can’t put up signs of my favorite rock band up on public property,” he said.
After an election year that saw 24 million people ages 18 to 29 vote — the highest turnout of young voters since 1972, according to rockthevote.com — there were mixed feelings among USF students when the signs were removed.
Some expressed feelings of nostalgia, and others said they wanted to move on.
Biomedical science junior Michelle Blanco said she was surprised that the signs had been uprooted from campus walkways.
“This election meant so much to so many people,” she said. “People were very emotional about the election.”
“I still hear people talking about it. I’m surprised that at least the Obama signs aren’t still up, since he won after all. I guess there isn’t much memorabilia left on the walls,” Blanco said.
Other students, such as senior aging studies major Melissa Canova, said they see no point in leaving the signs up after the election.
“Even if the signs were still up, they wouldn’t change how people feel about the election,” she said.
Professor and political analyst Susan MacManus said she doesn’t think many students are sad to see the elections end. Since the election ended the semester, everything comes to a close at the same time for students, she said.
Though the election is over, she said, political interest won’t dwindle because there is still much ahead, especially for those involved in the Barack Obama campaign.
“There’ll be a lot of groups now that will promote volunteerism and keep that alive,” she said. “The inauguration will keep people engaged.”
Most students said they were less bothered by the signs around campus than by other students chasing them with stickers or forms, trying to convince them to vote for a certain candidate or register to vote multiple times a day.
“They should be like anybody who wants to be in a relationship. Let me come to you, don’t be desperate and push your ideas on me,” said Natalie Ponton, a junior general business major.