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Lourdes students thinking positive, hope it continues

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Harris

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Buoyed by the inauguration of President Obama, student organizations at Lourdes College in Sylvania are hoping to keep the momentum.

"The energy is infectious," said Lisa Binkowski, the college's director of student activities and recreation.

Ms. Binkowski said student organizations at Lourdes have been empowered by the campaign and election of Mr. Obama, prompting the formation of a chapter of the Lourdes College Young Democrats and increasing interest in the Black Student Union.

To celebrate yesterday's inauguration of Mr. Obama, both organizations sponsored a full slate of activities for students at the Ebeid Center on campus.

The festivities started early, with students and faculty gathering to watch the inauguration ceremony.

They snacked on hot dogs while watching inauguration coverage, playing presidential quiz games, and taking in a video documentary by student Kamar Mosley.

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Binkowski

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Richie Frelin, 24, the president of the college's Young Democrats, said he has noticed a feeling of excitement on campus - even among non-Democrats.

"I've had Republicans come up and tell me how happy and hopeful they are," said Mr. Frelin, who is studying history. "They are appreciating how he is the very first African-American president."


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Schlender

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"You can feel the energy," said Sandy Harris Jr., 20, the president of the college's Black Student Union.

"When noon struck and at the bottom of the screen on CNN it said, 'Barack Obama is now president,' it was official and I was overcome," said Mr. Harris, a sophomore studying business and administration.

"It opens the door for minorities."

He added, "It lets everyone dream a little bigger."

Mr. Harris said he began supporting Mr. Obama in 2004 after the then-senator's speech at the Democratic National Convention. He said that made the inauguration that much sweeter.

"It was just a beautiful event, a beautiful day - monumental," Mr. Harris said.

Keith Schlender, the dean of the graduate school, said Mr. Obama's swearing-in was "an incredibly emotional experience."

"People who didn't support Obama as a candidate are supporting him as president," Mr. Schlender said. "I hope it continues."

He added, "We have such high expectations. I hope we don't set them too high."

Contact Steve Eder at:

seder@theblade.com or

419-304-1680.

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