When the Director of the newly elected Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) turned to hug her lawyer after seeing the final tally in the union election, the expectant crowd in Sanders Theater erupted into cheers which carried through the night.
A jubilant support staff crowd moved their chants of "Union, Union," from Sanders Theater to the Elks Club for a victory celebration, spilling onto the street and continuing until early this morning.
"This is the best day of my life, personally," said a union organizer, and the words echoed throughout the small, low-ceiling room of the club, as the victorious union supporters wandered around, congratulating each other and pushing through the strings of hundreds of colored ballons which dangled from the ceiling.
The HUCTW victory party had been planned since last week, and although in the final moments before the election results were announced some supporters were uncertain of victory, the mood throughout the final stages of the HUCTW campaign had been businesslike, but very optimistic.
Union organizers began the final stages of their campaign at 4 a.m. yesterday, when 20 student volunteers met at the HUCTW office to blow up balloons and begin postering around the polling places.
More than 40 student volunteers assisted in yesterday's election process, hanging up posters and balloons, driving support staff to the polling places and performing other tactical things for the union. altruistic things that a student can do," said Andrew Sabl '90, who spent the day hanging posters and balloons.
The enthusiam never flagged, as a continual stream of cars, monitered by volunteers carrying walkie-talkies, drove by the union headquarters, prepared to pick up support staff workers who could not get to the polling places alone.
One support staff worker flew to Boston in the morning from a vacation in Florida, was picked up by a volunteer at Logan Airport, voted and flew back to Florida at 3 p.m.
When the polls closed at 5 p.m., the volunteers moved to Sanders Theater to await the results.
During the four hours that it took to count the votes, support staff, volunteers and organizers sat in the auditorium, discussing voter turnout and speculating about how wide a margin the union would win by.
None of the supporters doubted that the union would win.
"We have put so much into this, and everyone cares so much--I won't even entertain the possibility that we lost," said one support staff worker.
After the union's victory was announced, the same worker broke into tears of relief. "Maybe I was a little uncertain," she said.
As the victory party slowly came to an end around 1 a.m., one support staff member, laughing and singing with a beer in her hand, walked away, saying, "I'm not drunk really. I'm just tired."
"No you are not. You're drunk. So am I. We should be," her companion responded.
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