A month ago, we were all heading off for Fall Break. Most of our midterms had come and gone, the leaves were finally turning in earnest, and the Kennedy Ellipse (yes, that’s what it’s called) was ALMOST ready to open. A lot has happened since then.
After a week away from school, whether it was spent on a Service Break Trip or home with family or off on a vacation or visiting friends at other schools, we came back to the Main Line mostly refreshed and ready to go. Some of us returned to more midterms, but a lot of us enjoyed a nice calm before the storm, quite literally.
The week before Homecoming was one of mixed feelings. The excitement for getting to see recent graduates return for Homecoming was contrasted by the anxious dread that preceded Hurricane Sandy’s arrival.
Many students who endured Hurricane Irene last year scoffed at Sandy’s threat, insisting that it was all hype, just like last year. Homecoming was a wonderful weekend, despite an unfortunate defeat on the gridiron, and was made even more wonderful by getting that Nova Alert text announcing the cancellation of classes for Monday and Tuesday. We bid our alumni friends farewell as we hunkered down for Sandy’s arrival.
The “superstorm” came and hit us hard. While not nearly as terrible as early projections had claimed, Sandy dealt a harsh blow to the Northeast. Parts of New Jersey will probably still be rebuilding this time next year with all of the damage caused by the storm, and New York City certainly took the storm’s punch right on the chin, forcing Mayor Bloomberg to cancel the NYC Marathon. The NYC Subway system won’t be running at full capacity again for months, if estimates are correct, and the Nor’easter that brought snow to campus before heading to blast Manhattan last Wednesday certainly didn’t help.
That’s right! Just over a week after we were hit with the most powerful tropical system to ever hit the East Coast north of Cape Hatteras, we were greeted with snow! For seniors who enjoyed all the snow days during the Snowpocalypse of 2010, it must seem like déjà vu, since we had a circular blizzard with hurricane force gusts which was dubbed “The Flurricane” and made visibility a joke. Last year, we had the blizzard right at Halloween and this year, we get a hurricane at Halloween and a week later, snow! It certainly feels like we skipped right over Fall, but thankfully, not the Fall Festival.
This month, Villanova played host to a small army of athletes as the Special Olympics Fall Festival descended on campus. The event was a success as always and many kudos should be given to the student organizers for getting it off without any major issues so soon after Sandy hit. Right on the footsteps of the Special Olympics was Election Day. President Obama won re-election over Governor Romney by a significant electoral margin, while the Democrats retained the Senate and the Republicans held the House. The nightmarish campaign finally ended and brought some interesting occurrences. This election was the first time that Dixville Notch, the little town in New Hampshire that votes at midnight, recorded a tie in the election, with each candidate earning 5 votes a piece.
The famous “Redskins Rule” concerning the results of elections involving an incumbent failed for only the third time in franchise history. The “rule” dictates that if an incumbent is seeking re-election, the results of the final Redskins home game before the election is somehow linked to whether they will be successful in their re-election bid or not. The Redskins lost, giving hope to many Romney fans, but President Obama won. This result has happened only two other times, in 1940 and in 2004.
The most interesting bit that came out of the whole process, however, might be what CNN had to say about the candidates: neither one of them seemed to run on anything and neither one proved to us that they have a specific vision of America’s future. It was a popularity contest based on rhetoric and wild promises. No real solutions were put forth with enough evidence to support them, and answers were hard to come by. As we get ready for 2013, we need to come together as a country and demand better politics from our leaders. This gridlock in Washington needs to stop and we need to accept that both parties are to blame. That is what we, the people, agreed on this month.
Did I mention that we Assassin’s Creed III, Halo 4, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II all just released? Everyone with electricity, enjoy playing those while the government starts to work on this fiscal cliff because, as he famously told Vladimir Putin, President Obama can be more “flexible” this time around… Man, what a long, strange month it’s been…
By Will Kavanagh ’13