On Friday, students will crowd around televisions, cheer victory, boo defeat and inevitably drink a fair amount of alcohol in the process. The same will happen tonight. The problem is that Friday features the men’s basketball team’s season opener, tonight, the U.S. presidential election.

The media have a tendency to depict the presidential campaign as a horse race, and it is true that this election may be decided by a nose. But as we cluster around our televisions tonight, popcorn and beer at the ready, we should take pause to ensure that passion for our preferred candidate is rooted in an appreciation for the gravity of the issues at stake. Our country is at war, millions are unemployed and energy policy is at a crossroads. Whoever wins this election will dramatically affect the nation’s future, and we shouldn’t let the drama and
emotions of election night obscure that important fact.

It’s true that the time for electioneering has passed, and those who have endured this exhausting process are certainly entitled to crack open a beer or whatever else helps them enjoy the culmination of a hard-fought campaign. Balloons, music and laughter are commonplace at victory celebrations; many political nerds enjoy the chance to bet on electoral maps. All of that is good and fun, but it should also be tempered to reflect the magnitude of this moment.

Georgetown is often commended for having a politically astute student body. Let us demonstrate that not only with our festivities on Election Day but also with our awareness of what awaits this country in the days after.

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