The next president of the United States will be elected Tuesday, and WBJU will host an event that will keep students informed about what’s going on at the polls, whether the swing states have voted red or blue and ultimately which man will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years.
“Decision 2012: Final Outcome,” WBJU’s election broadcast, will take place from 7:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. in the Student Center. The Snack Shop will also be open until 1 a.m.
Every campus television will air WBJU’s election coverage, but all students are invited to come to the Student Center to view the coverage and to enjoy live entertainment in a political party atmosphere.
The event will kick off at 7:30 p.m. with a special half-hour WBJU newscast. The program will include election updates and student interviews. Senior radio and television broadcasting major Emily Lewandowski will co-anchor the newscast with junior journalism and mass communication major Kyle Cline. Not only will Lewandowski anchor the show, but she will also co-produce the entire program with Sarah Shirey, a junior journalism and mass communication major.
As co-producer, it’s Lewandowski’s job to organize the broadcast’s content and to ensure that everything runs smoothly from the WBJU studio.
According to Lewandowski, after the initial newscast has finished, the focus will shift to the events in the Student Center.
The Student Center will have three large screens as well as a two-level stage, according to Patrick Hulehan, a senior accounting major who is the executive coordinator of the event. Hulehan said the entire event will use 10 cameras, eight projectors and 2,300 feet of cable.
According to Hulehan, WBJU will partner with the SLC throughout the evening, alternating between campus news coverage, CNN’s coverage of the election and the SLC’s live program.
Why will CNN coverage be aired? Dr. Heidi Campbell, general manager of WBJU and JMC faculty member, said WBJU is a CNN affiliate; therefore, WBJU has the rights to alternate between CNN programming and WBJU programming. By combining national CNN coverage with local campus coverage, students will be able to stay updated on election night from both a national and local perspective.
Dr. Campbell said it’s important that WBJU airs its own content in addition to national coverage in order to provide a Christian worldview, as well as to give BJU’s own students the opportunity to be involved in election night.
“We want [students] not only to know who got elected, but also what that means for them,” Hulehan said.
Some students will even participate in a focus group in the Student Center. According to Hulehan, these student politicos will be able to communicate with the student body by sharing their political knowledge and opinions.
Hulehan also said that S.C. State Sen. Mike Fair and S.C. Rep. Trey Gowdy have both agreed to make an in-person appearance during the evening.
As the big night draws closer, Dr. Campbell encourages students to be involved in the political world.
“Many Christians deliberately abandon the political process to leave it to those who hate God or distort who God is,” she said. “I like to encourage my students to be involved in politics to make a difference for Christ in their culture.”
Hulehan said the goal of “Decision 2012: Final Outcome” is to bring the election to the students. “Students shouldn’t feel that this is something only for people who care about politics. It’s not,” he said. “It’s for anyone who cares about America or wants to learn about America.”