Students watch the 2016 presidential election votes come in together in the Commons

Most of us while away election night in our homes, nervously tapping away at our laptops, anxiously consulting cable TV pundits, and (possibly) eating a pint of ice cream along the way. For students away from home, UMBC has since 2004 created a much more exciting and communal way to spend the evening—an Election Night Extravaganza, to be precise—filling large sections of The Commons with balloons, streamers, and activities to celebrate democratic engagement. 

Thanks to COVID, this year’s celebration was reenvisioned via the online chat platform Discord, complete with chat rooms to match the community found in the #skylight-room, #sports-zone, and other physical spaces everyone was missing this semester. 

Glimpses of this year’s virtual Election Extravaganza.

Never has coming together been more important, wrote David Hoffman, director of UMBC’s Center for Democracy and Civic Life, at the start of this year’s event which drew almost 200 people. “We are a community, and will continue to be a community after the election.”

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Header image from the 2016 Election Night Extravaganza, courtesy of SGA.

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