The American Elections in Groningen
A facebook photo of Obama hugging his child is the most appreciated photo on social media in history, while Mitt Romney loses 874 facebook friends per hour. The elections are over. Barack Obama has been re-elected and the Republican candidate Romney stopped with his political career. The elections caused a true storm of media-attention all over the world. Everybody tried to give his or her opinion on the elections that take place in the USA. Although its about domestic politics in a country that lies on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Holland wants to see what happens. No weird thing, considered that the United States of America still is one of the superpowers that influence world politics big time. Either a Republican or a Democratic view on international affairs can make a lot of difference to the way America will behave.
Even in the north of Holland, Groningen to be precise, everybody is aware of these elections. A lot of students want to see them live and, luckily enough, that opportunity is offered in different ways.
First, a lot of student and study associations offer the possibility to watch the elections whole night long. You can drink a beer with fellow students while watching how the battle between Obama and Romney develops.
Groninger Forum, the city’s largest cultural organization, decided to organize something a little more professional. For a reasonable fee of 15 euros, you could have watched the American Elections in style at ForumImages. They invited a couple of speakers, who expressed their views on the United States and his elections in different ways. An expert on American issues; Frans Verhagen reviewed the Republic and Democratic campaigns of the last month and you were able to discuss reality of the promises Obama made four years ago with, among others, former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Murat Kurnaz. There also was a debate by the student-debaters of Kalliope, a student association that provides debating workshops and other activities, and stand-up comedy provided something to laugh about between all the serious topics.
ForumImages organizes this night together with study/student associations EPU and DUNSA. EPU, short for E Pluribus Unum, is the study association for American Studies-students. It organizes lectures, trips and other activities, like for example a real thanksgiving dinner.
The DUNSA, short for Dutch United Nations Students Association, is a student association that is known for their international orientation. This association organizes activities related to big international events and provides interesting lectures on regular basis. Next to that, joining DUNSA is a good opportunity to get to know fellow students who also have an interest in international affairs. They also state to have a good relationship with the United Nations, so maybe a membership at DUNSA can even be beneficial for your future career.
As you see, Groningen's students unite to get a good view of the American Elections and have some fun at the same time. If you are interested in international affairs and politics and want to get to know some fellow students who also do, check out the websites of these student/study associations. And if you really like the whole USA-thing, just see that you're going to study American Studies in Groningen. Yes, you can!
By: Tomas Riemens