How Did Students Respond to Osama's Death at Different Colleges?

On Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan -- and college students celebrated. Check out our compilation of reports from NGJ staffers across the country.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

On Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan -- and college students celebrated. Check out our compilation of reports from NGJ staffers across the country.

Tulane University (Jared Sichel)

Hundreds of students poured into a quad around dorms and began chanting "U.S.A.!!" ROTC people and other guys took a big U.S.A. flag and walked across the quad with it spread out. People set off firecrackers and similar explosives. A big American flag was draped from the top floor of a dorm.

Notre Dame (Connor Toohill)

Hundreds of students gathered on the South Quad of campus- many were holding large flags, others were smoking cigars, and just about everyone was singing at the top of their lungs (and of course, chanting "USA! USA! USA!"). Over the course of an hour, this group of students ran through the LaFortune student center to the famous 'Touchdown Jesus' in front of the library, then back. At one point, a student stood up and told the crowd, 'Ten years ago, that motherf*$%#r killed my dad"- he then thanked the crowd for joining him in celebration. All over campus, students were high-fiving and hugging each other- it was tough to walk outside without hearing a patriotic song belted at top volume.

Naval Academy (Anonymous Midshipman)

Shortly after news of Bin Laden's death, an announcement came over Bancroft Hall (the single dorm building that houses all 4200 midshipmen) 1MC encouraging all midshipmen to view the President's address in their respective common rooms. Soon word was passed from the Brigade Commander for all midshipmen to gather in Tecumseh Court outside Bancroft Hall. The crowd quickly began chanting "USA!" and singing the national anthem. What followed was a march around the Yard with stops at the Superintendent's and Commandants quarters, as well as the main gate where students were climbing fences in jubilation. Both the Commandant and Superintendent rallied the Brigade from their doorsteps, and the crowd continued on to numerous landmarks around the Academy including the Herndon Monument, the statue of Tecumseh, and countless fountains. The Brigade, unfamiliar with such excitement, was eventually coaxed back inside by M4 Carbine wielding DoD police.

Penn State (Mike Oplinger)

Within a hour of the news breaking, thousands of Penn State students converged in an area downtown known as Beaver Canyon, which normally hosts riots after big football victories. The mood was much calmer and more celebratory Sunday night. Students draped themselves in the American flag and chanted patriotic phrases. Students then sang patriotic songs such as "God Bless the USA," "Born in the USA" and the "Star Spangled Banner." One student dressed as Captain America crowd-surfed down the street. Police stood idly by as the celebration was mainly peaceful. They only stepped in when students began setting off fireworks and starting small fires.

University of Missouri (Matt Hundley)

At Mizzou, students flocked to Greektown to take place in the celebrations. Hundreds of students crowded on the streets, chanting and singing patriotic songs. People shot fireworks with American flags waving in the air. There was even a picture of Osama that students lit on fire.

ASU Downtown Campus (Jack Fitzpatrick)

I'm sorry/ashamed to say the ASU Downtown campus is dead quiet right now. I checked the Walter Cronkite School's First Amendment Forum, where this kind of thing usually happens, but the building was closed

Syracuse University (Marina Charny)

As strong as the reaction was on campus - I was in the library when I found out, in one of the super quiet rooms, and at one point people all just started discussing the news amongst themselves and completely forgot where they were - I was most impressed with the reaction across social media. Upon hearing the news, most people immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to post statuses and comments about it. By now, most of my friends have updated their Facebook with an Osama/Obama-related status and are hitting the bars to celebrate!

Yale (Alex Moffit)

May Day happened to hit at the most stressful time of the year for Yalies. With finals looming in a day for some, it came as no surprise all of campus was hidden away in the darkest corners of libraries and empty classrooms. But when the news broke that Osama bin Laden had met his maker, students had no choice but to drop econ notes, grab scissors, and cut the sleeves off of their favorite red and blue flannels. Yalies wore camo. They wore denim. They wore American flag button ups. They wore "America: Back-to-Back World War Champions" t-shirts. And for the rest of the night they would speak in nothing other than the deepest Louisville drawl you'd ever heard. The sound system fired up and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" found itself on repeat. Eventually students congregated on the picturesque Old Campus green where the chanting of "Osaaaaaama Osaaaaama... Ayyyy Ayyy Ayyyyy... Goodbyeeeeee" could proudly be heard echoing far off into the night amidst the blaring of Freedom horns (vuvuzuelas) and sporadic shouts of "Amuricah!" Students sang their way through every possible American anthem. With a finale of "America the Beautiful" the crowd dispersed, some students wandering off in vain attempts to make last calls at local pubs. Others simply going back to their dorms to play "America, F#$% Yeah!" one final time. America and Yale celebrated, and it was beautiful. #Red #White #andBlue

Georgetown University (Caitlin Gilbert)

I ran to the White House as soon as I heard the news. The run there from Georgetown was absolutely surreal. People were singing, running, chanting, and shouting. I have literally not experienced the kind of mass sense of community that I did tonight. Once I got to the White House with my friends, the unity was only stronger. I saw people crying, hugging, smoking weed, jumping, climbing lampposts and trees, and so much more. I loved how many college students were there as well. If there's one thing you can count on college kids doing, it's gathering en masse and chanting like there's no tomorrow.

Click over to NGJ to read further reactions- from students at UPenn, Oregon, SMU, Michigan State, Stanford, and more! Plus, view pictures and video from Boston University, Notre Dame, Stanford, NYU, Ohio State, and the Naval Academy.

NextGen Journal is a national website for college students. We spotlight the voices of our generation on topics ranging from dorm life to Darfur, and from climate change to Kid Cudi; we provide fresh reporting, insight, and analysis on the latest news that matters to you; and we gather the most important content from Across the Web. We'll save you some time, help you make sense of what's going on, and finally bring your voice into the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community