Election Staffers Clean Up Quiet Offices

This story was written by M, Daily Collegian
Leftover pieces of tape still cling to walls where signs hung supporting then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in his local campaign headquarters.

After the election, Victoria Kilbert, senior and vice president of Penn State Students for Barack Obama, said volunteers took down decorations and maps that had adorned the walls.

Campaign volunteers and staffers, many of whom all but lived out of campaign offices, began clean up efforts directly after the election last week and shifted their focuses to life after Nov. 4.

Kilbert said she practically moved into Barack Obama's State College headquarters during the campaign.

She was among those volunteers who helped clean up the Obama office after Election Day. The week before the election there was tension and a sense of urgency, Kilbert said, adding that she slept little the night before the election.

Kilbert, who will graduate this year, said she now plans to catch up on class work.

Down the street on the corner, supporters of John McCain also worked to pack and clean their office.

Andrew Ryan, freshman and campaign volunteer, assisted in cleaning up the "Victory Center" Wednesday.

The downtown office hosted a cardboard cutout of Sarah Palin, yard signs and volunteers making phone calls approaching the election. Ryan recalled the scene on Election Day, which saw about two dozen people.

The day after the election, however, he said the place was quiet.

"Once you clear everything away, it just puts an end to it. You know it's over," Ryan said.

Days after the election, signs could still be seen hanging in the windows of the Beaver Avenue office.

Ryan, one of the only students who assisted on Nov. 5, said he helped put equipment away and took some leftover campaign memorabilia with him. He said he sat in the office for hours after Election Day, talking about everything that he had done. He said he probably put in between 50 and 60 hours in the last few weeks before Nov. 4.

During his time volunteering, Ryan said he met students from other colleges.

"I'll remember all the friends that we made," he said. "I'm kind of sad that it's over."

Ryan said he plans on getting back to a regular schedule and schoolwork and he will participate in College Republican activities.

Jony Rommel, a State College resident and junior at the University of Missouri, went to the Obama headquarters to clean her desk and other areas of the office. Rommel said it was exciting Obama won, but it's also been sad to leave the office.

"We've all been here so long it's kind of become a second home to all of us," she said.
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