Students disappointed in 2016 presidential election results

[Cesareo Contreras]

Many FSU students are unhappy with the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, won the presidency with 279 electoral votes, while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 219,762 votes as of press time.

Cindy Nelson, a junior, said she is “disappointed” in the United States.

“I understand that this is how our electoral system works, but I’m disappointed that my rights and the rights of other marginalized peoples have been thrown under the bus because of the self interest of others,” she said. “People chose xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and ultimately just plain old fear over human rights.”

Megan Muise, a senior, said she is “angry” citizens chose “a misogynistic, racist, xenophobe rather than a candidate who may be politically corrupt, but at least has experience, listens to the American people in terms of their progressive views, and actually believes in climate change.”

Trump’s presidency will “set America back at least 50-60 years in terms of culture and society,” she said.

Muise added that Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate who lost in the primaries, gave Millennials “the push that we needed.

“At least we’re not afraid for our voices to be heard anymore,” she said.

Jesse Sannicandro, a senior, said he is “pleased” with the Massachusetts results. However, he supported Hillary Clinton.

“I consider myself a liberal and I don’t like the idea of having Republicans in control of the Senate, House of Representatives and Presidency,” he said.

He added, “Since the new president will pick a new Supreme Court justice, Trump’s presidency will have a lasting impact on our country.”

Rylan O’Day, a senior, said he is “saddened and scared, but those affected will find the strength to continue to fight for equality of all people.”

Pixie Smolowitz, a sophomore, said she is “annoyed, to say the least,” with the outcome of the election.

“A lot of people decided to vote third-party and that made a huge difference in a lot of states,” she said. “It actually pretty much handed Florida over to Trump.”

She added the election has made her “fear for the safety of my friends and family.

“I’m gay and I have a lot of queer friends, both gay and trans, and I’m really worried about the backlash that’s going to happen because of this election,” she said.

Liz Dresser, a senior, said she is “straight disgusted.”

She added she never believed Trump would win the presidency. “I was convinced that everyone, the majority of the country, thought he was an idiot and that as slimy as Hillary has been, she would have came out on top.”

Garret Urbaczewksi, a senior, said now that Trump is president, “Everything’s just going to go downhill from here. That’s why it’s time for revolution.”

Sociology professor Virginia Rutter said she “explicitly did not expect this outcome.

“I just have a sense of unreality, and it’s clear that it is going to take me some time to take it all in,” she said.

Rutter said she is worried about her students.

“For many of our students, it’s the first campaign they’ve been involved in,” she said. “These moments are really formative, and this particular moment is unlike anything we’ve seen before.”

She said now, it is imperative students stay informed.

“Across the board, there is a lack of information,” she said. “We have to get our information and vet our information in order to understand what’s going to be happening with respect to issues like healthcare, immigration, same sex marriage and judicial appointments.”

The Center for Inclusive Excellence held an open forum on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the results of the election.

The center was packed, with students sitting on the floor and standing in the hallway outside.

Sean Huddleston, chief diversity and inclusion officer, said he has “personally seen and felt a lot of emotion about what transpired, so we felt it was very important to create this space to be able to talk.”

Huddleston said after hearing the election results, he started writing a letter to his three sons that he hasn’t been able to complete.

“I have about two sentences of the letter because I don’t really know what to say,” he said. “If I’m feeling like that, I imagine there are other people feeling like that, too.”

Many were concerned about the effects this election would have on the LGBTQ+ community.

One student said his biggest concern about the election is the fact that Trump’s running mate is a supporter of conversion therapy, “which, in my opinion, is a form of torture. I feel like with this kind of homophobic and transphobic ideology being so present in our political system now with him as president, that threatens all the work that I, and many of my friends and family members, have fought for thus far.”

Another student identified themselves as genderqueer, and said they feel like giving up “because it’s hard.”

They added, “But, I am going to keep fighting and one day, I will be working in a center like this and I will be helping other LGBT students who are in my place. I will help them because we need to stick together.”

Patricia Sanchez-Connally, sociology professor, shared the story of her immigration from El Salvador.

“I did not take the plane. I took the scenic route, like many of the students who I had crying in my office earlier today did,” she said. “So this is very personal to me.”

One student said, “If you did vote for Trump … I want to start off by saying, “Cool, that’s your right. I respect that. You have the right to vote, but I’m going to tell you what your vote means to me and how I was affected by it.’”

That morning, he said, he had woken up to texts from his family, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, asking him, “What’s going to happen to us?”

He said, “I have never felt so worthless in my life saying, ‘I don’t know. I have no idea what’s going to happen.’”

Since Trump never spoke much about policy, he said he is worried about what Trump will do as president.

“I’m scared. I’m not going to lie – I didn’t even want to come to school today,” he said.

“I ended up coming and I’m so glad because we had an awesome conversation in one of my classes today … and it really brought my morale up. If you’re feeling like me, this right here is the first piece to kind of start bringing yourself up.”

Sanchez-Connally said she “shares” that feeling as well. “I have the privilege of being a U.S. citizen and being able to teach and do this type of work and stand here before you, but the majority of my family is still undocumented.”

One student, who is from Venezuela, said she is “honestly so grateful that I was able to have the opportunity to be here and grow. … I wouldn’t be doing half the things I’m doing now, or be getting the education I am getting now,” if she hadn’t immigrated from Venezuela.

She said this election has been a “flashback” for her of what happened in Venezuela, when a presidential race run on “hate” divided the country.

“My biggest fear is to relive that in a country that I love,” she said.

An alumna of the University said she has seen the effects of this election in “various parts” of her life.

She said she works in a public school system with many minority student. “The most heartbreaking thing” she experienced that morning was “listening to a little girl say the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag that didn’t protect her.”

She said, “We need action. We need activism. That’s what’s going to change this country. We need to put our prejudices and differences out the door and come together.”

One student said, “It’s not just about who is president. It’s about what people think.”

She said, “I have to fight every day to have a say and for you to just see me as a person. Why is it OK for me to do double the work so you can see me as an equal? It’s not fair.”

Sanchez-Connally said, “This is stuff that we’ve known, right? This doesn’t really come as a complete shock. This is stuff that I have experienced on a daily basis. This is stuff that I experience all the time. … But now, it’s out. It’s visible. Now, it’s out there. That’s what makes it painful.”

She encouraged students to think of ways they can empower others, such as helping immigrants with their applications to become citizens.

A student said moving forward, it will be important to empower each other and build each other up

“We’re all here together. We’re crying together right now,” she said. “Let’s all cry together, and then let’s build each other up. What more can we do?” 

Another student said as a white straight male, he has the most privilege, and he is “still shook” from the election.

“It just feels like a really bad dream,” he said. “It feel likes there’s this mask of eeriness on campus.”

Another student said she is “scared, confused and terrified.” However, throughout the past few days she has received “little signs” letting her know “there is hope.”

I have a bunch of kids that I’m a role model to. I can’t do anything to protect them. This is the future they’re going to see and it’s so scary,” she said.

“What am I supposed to tell my little sister? What am I supposed to tell the kids?” she asked, tearing up.

One student said she “made a tough decision” and voted third party.

“I don’t regret it,” she said. “I think there is a lot of misdirected anger out there against third-party voters and people who didn’t vote period.”

She said, “Palestinians – we’ve been marginalized. We’ve lived through an ethnic genocide every day since 1948 and I’m sorry, but Hillary supports that.”

She said people should be angry about the “white supremacy attitude in America” and the electoral and two-party system instead of blaming each other.

Huddleston said, “There are a lot of things that can separate us, and there’s a whole lot more things that can bring us together. The purpose of elections is to bring us together.”

He said this is one of those moments when the community can stop and think about ways to come together.

Referring to the emotion in the room, Huddleston said, “We’re going to cry today, but what are we going to do tomorrow? What are we going to do differently to make sure that … this moment in history moves us forward?”

President F. Javier Cevallos said, “You have to keep one thing in mind. It is a democracy, and you have a tremendous amount of power when you vote and in your actions. It’s a very sad day for many of us. When you feel that way, fight forward. All of us together, we will continue to push for what is the right thing to do, which is to respect every single individual. Period. No exceptions and no excuses.”

1 Comment on Students disappointed in 2016 presidential election results

  1. Megan Muise makes it sound like Trump is going to kill homosexuals, end womens’ rights, and bring back slavery… like he was a Muslim or something.

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