Drums, drunks, dances: an election-night diary

Jason Okamoto

Covering Associated Students Inc. for the last two years, Ifigured that jotting down a minute-by-minute election-night diarywould be a walk in the park: show up, watch people get drunk, chatwith candidates for a couple hours and I’m out.

I was mistaken.

April 28, 8:30 p.m. On my way to my third straight ASI election.Don’t plan on getting drunk this time, but I desperately needa cup of coffee.

9 p.m. Damn! Java City is closed. Fellow columnist Tom Hall andI drive to Borders to get coffee and look at men’smagazines.

9:45p.m. Arrive back at the University Union Hive, wherecandidates have gathered. The red slate inside, and the yellow andorange in the courtyard. Share a long conversation with former ASIPresident Eric Guerra. I find myself missing the days when he wasin office.

10:20 p.m. Chat with presidential candidate Daniel Benedetto. Hesays his chances of winning are slim, but adds, “I would notwant it any other way.”

10:30 p.m. Talk with presidential candidate Brandon Kline, whois surrounded by drunken frat brothers. He’s also losing hisvoice. Nevertheless, he seems more confident than last year.

10:55 p.m. A real bad episode of “The X-Files” comeson The Hive televisions.

11 p.m. Sit outside and talk with presidential candidate JoshWood. We can see the group of 11 people counting ballots. He saysthat the sight makes him sick: “I’ll be surprised if we(the red party) pull it off.”

11:10 p.m. Presidential candidate Julio Velázquez has hadmultiple beers by the time I talk with him. His posse is pumped up,dancing, singing and chanting his name. Velázquez says thatthe election has provided “good competition,” then addshis discontent over The State Hornet’s coverage of his”Multicultural Night” event the week before.”Half of the students don’t even read theHornet,” he adds as he points at my colleagues. I join in andgive them the finger.

11:25 p.m. Vice-presidential candidate Chris Lange is drinkingwater. He says he is trying to keep a clear head. He is obviouslytrying to keep it low key &- he says that he would dance, butis a “spastic dancer.”

11:30 p.m. The Hive stops serving beer and turns off itstelevisions. Big mistake. The orange cronies continue to chant.This is supposed to be the time when they announce the winner.

April, 29, 12 a.m. I lay down on a couch in the Union. Thissucks.

12:20 a.m. I bust a couple of break-dance moves in the Redwoodroom. Candidates Luke Wood and James Shelby practice step moves.The TVs in the Hive come back on.

12:55 a.m. ASI Executive Director Patricia Worley tells me thatvoting results are going to take at least another hour to comein.

1:01 a.m. Recreation / Wellness / Events Center volunteers arecalled into the University Center Restaurant for a littlecelebration. I sneak in for champagne and cake.

1:30 a.m. I do a microphone check in the Redwood room. The micworks.

1:40 a.m. Lay against a wall, motionless.

2:20 a.m. Thought I lost my notepad. I ask Worley if she hasseen it. Moments later I find it.

2:50 a.m. Julio Velázquez is passed out on a table at TheHive. It’s like a rave gone bad. Hip-hop music playing over acheap boom box, the sound of drums beating, people looking likezombies &- they should have kept the beer flowing.

3:45 a.m. Recreational Sports Director Ken Morton brings inKrispy Kremes donuts.

3:50 a.m. Everyone is called into the Redwood Room forannouncements. Everyone waits.

4 a.m. Some asshole attempts to make jokes over the mic.

4:15 a.m. A camera crew from “Good Day Sacramento”arrives. By this time, the announcement of their arrival is like aninsult.

4:37 a.m. Ucovich steps up to the stage. As soon as he begins tospeak, some of those in the crowd begin to boo. By the time thelast announcement is made I am already on the way to my car.History was made here at Sac State this morning, and I don’teven care.