Thousands of Illinois State University students marched across campus last night and into the early morning hours in celebration of Barack Obama's presidential victory.
"Tonight the voice of our nation and of our campus was heard loud and clear," Stefan Trusewych, a sophomore computer science major and Obama supporter said.
The crowd assembled at Watterson Towers shortly after Obama's victory speech. The students chanted "Obama 08!" "Yes we can!" and "USA!" as they marched.
The demonstrators, proudly displaying their "Obama" signs and t-shirts, walked across campus to Tri-Towers. Hearing the noise from outside, some residents of Tri-Towers peered down at the crowd from their windows and some even ran outside to join the celebration.
From there, they marched down College Avenue, making their way to Atkin and Colby Halls.
As the group marched, their numbers swelled to likely over two thousand people. Local police monitored the peaceful parade as it stopped traffic in the streets.
"I heard them for like 15 minutes," Tonya Starnes, a freshman communication studies major, said. "We joined up with the crowd and it grew from 100 to over 1,000 in just a few minutes."
From Atkin-Colby, the crowd ran to the flagpole on the Quad and joined together in singing the National Anthem.
"It was the largest outpouring of youth support for anything political on this campus that I've ever seen," Ben Hanrahan, a sophomore political science major, said. "The spirit of it was really inspiring."
From the flagpole, the crowd reached its peak, gathering on the hill located in front of Watterson Towers. "No more Bush!" They screamed in defiance.
"This was a celebration of my country," Matt Hammermeister, a sophomore history education major, said. "After decades of things like Plessy vs. Ferguson, we're finally past that."
"Regardless of your political ideology, we can all be proud of our country today."