It was living history at Fairfield University on Tuesday when students across campus paused to watch the inaugural ceremonies of President Barack Obama.

Venues to see the swearing-in were set up in both the lower lobby of the Barone Campus Center and in the multimedia room of the DiMenna-Nysellus library.’ Both sites were packed to capacity.’ Soobin Lim ’11, among others, was in awe of the moment.

‘This is a total change of history,’ she said, ‘It’s great.’

While many people noted the feelings of togetherness among both Republicans and Democrats during the ceremonies, Andrew Festin ’09 thinks the significance of Obama assuming the Office of President of the United States will not be lost on others.

‘I’m sure even Republicans and McCain supporters are watching [Obama] and thinking, ‘this is historic,” he said.

Those who have no party affiliation, or even US citizenship, noted how the moment signals a change in the way the US conducts its affairs abroad.

‘It’s a big change,’ said Ali Abdul Majeed ’12, who is from Iraq. ‘I’m kind of excited to get your army out of my country!’

Adding to the diversity of the crowd, professors and faculty alike served as references for the rest of the assemblies.’ Robbin Crabtree, dean of the college of arts and sciences, summed the inauguration up as the dawn that comes after the night.

‘I was born in 1960 and never thought I would see this day where the message of a political leader is exactly what I want to hear,’ Crabtree said, ‘This is an opportunity to come together and commit to our common principles rather than to people whom inhabit offices.’

Regardless, not all spectators thought much of the occasion. Andrew Krywucki ’11 thinks people across the nation are making much ado about nothing.

‘The ceremony was too long and there was too much emphasis on Obama as an African-American,’ he said, adding, ‘It’s hypocritical to say that [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]’s dream came true today because this is not the first time an African-American has been elected to power.’

Likewise, Dan O’Neill ’09 echoed Krywucki’s comments and viewed the event as bittersweet.

‘It’s kind of hypocritical considering what’s going on with the economy, but at least America is coming together for something,’ he said.

Still, some, like Gabrielle Giuliano ’10, saw the inaugural ceremony’s lavish price tag as being well worth the cost.

‘Honestly, I think we’re at a low point and we need a party.’

Many people agreed that Tuesday was just a beginning.

‘ Paul Lakeland, the chair of the Catholic studies department, pointed out Obama is not yet the cure-all to the nation’s problems. Change, he said, will come only if everyone works to bring it.

‘Younger people have played such a major role in this election process,’ said Lakeland, ‘The important thing after today’s events is not that they continue to be Obama supporters so much as that they take up his invitation to be involved and participate in the hard work of assuring a secure future for the United States.’

Lily Norton, Nina Daoud and Keith Connors contributed to this article.

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