Election Night Fever Heats Up

USF student organizations are expecting a healthy turnout for the Tailgate Watch Party on election night.


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2012) In the true spirit of the election season, University of South Florida Student Government President Brian Goff is predicting a large turnout for Tuesday night’s “Tailgate Watch Party” outside the Marshall Student Center that will be broadcast live by several media outlets across the globe.


Florida, one of the swing states that could determine whether President Obama stays in office or is unseated by Republican Mitt Romney, is being watched closely by the media and pundits. BBC Radio, Sky News and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will be filing live reports throughout the night from the tailgate party.


Local media from Tampa Bay is also expected to be on campus for the event.


There is tons of energy around this,” Goff said. “We’ve passed out fliers, buttons, as well as blasted out the information on Facebook and Twitter to generate interest. The interest in this event reflects what we’ve been seeing in voter registration numbers and participation on campus.”


Nearly 1,900 people are registered to vote at the Marshall Student Center polling precinct. That’s up from less than 1,200 people who were registered in 2008.


The election night watch party begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until 1 a.m. Television coverage and election results will be projected onto the west wall of the USF Bookstore. The event is sponsored by Student Government, the NAACP, Omega Phi Beta and Delta Sigma Theta.

The BBC 5Live broadcast will feature interviews with USF faculty experts discussing top issues in the campaign and with students representing the much-coveted youth vote in the 2012 election. The network is also hosting a panel discussion with students, local political leaders and experts from approximately 6 to 7 p.m.; WUSF will simultaneously broadcast the discussion.

During the watch party, Student Government will be serving food and refreshments to complement the “tailgate party” theme. Rocky, the Sun Dolls and the USF Cheerleaders will also entertain the crowd from 5 to 8 p.m.

Attendees should bring stadium chairs, footballs and corn toss games to complete the tailgate party theme. Parking fees and restrictions will be waived in the three lots adjacent to the Marshall Student Center (behind the USF theaters) and all levels of the Crescent Hill garage beginning at 5 p.m.

“This event marks the culmination of a long year of events geared at promoting the election and educating the student body on candidates and issues on the ballot,” Goff said. 

“Student Government kicked off this year-long process with the Republican Presidential Primary Debate in January and has been working nonstop ever since,” he added. “Beginning with the fall semester, we began registering students to vote, held a campus-wide straw poll gauging student opinion and have held several debate watch parties.