Trump’s presidential win surprises young voters at EMU’s election gathering

Presidential candidate Donald Trump won the presidency on Tuesday, Nov. 8, stunning the crowd at Eastern Michigan University’s election party hosted by EMU Student Government.

EMU’s student center ballroom was crowded as election results rolled in. NBC, Fox and CNN dominated the four TVs, CNN having two. The event started at 8 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. Food and drinks were offered to participants, as well as chairs and tables decorated in red, white and blue. Music also played throughout the night with an encouragement to dance.

“I think there’s a very good turnout,” said Raymond Garcia, student body senator at EMU, “A lot of people seem interested in what’s going on and having a lot of fun.”

He said that a lot of the movement in the room was likely nervousness.

“Obviously the outcome [of the election] is going to affect a lot of people in the long run,” he said. “Personally I’ve been walking around a lot because I’m a little nervous.”

High tension was a common theme during the course of the event. Multiple students expressed nervousness for the results of the election, most advocating for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. According to CNN Clinton won 68.4 percent of the votes in Washtenaw county. 

Destiny Chapman, a junior at EMU, admitted anxiousness about the election’s results.

“If [Trump] wins, that’ll affect me in so many different kinds of ways,” she said. “For me being a black female and also wanting to go into the military, so whatever decisions he makes will determine whether or not I’m sent overseas.”

She admits she didn’t like either candidate in the first place.

“I wouldn’t support either of them, but the lesser of two evils would be Hillary Clinton.”

The "lesser of two evils" mentality was a common one among voters this year. Real Clear Politics did a national survey in March, which found that 24 percent of voters had a negative opinion of both candidates. Pew Research Center found in their own survey that 32 percent of voters supporting Clinton did so because "she wasn’t Trump" while 33 percent of voters supporting Trump did so because "he wasn’t Clinton."

“I would have voted third party but Michigan was too close,” said Charles Peters, an EMU student that voted for Trump in the election, “but you know, God help us all.”

Trump barely won Michigan with 47.6 percent of the votes compared to Clinton's 47.3 percent.  

The event lasted till 11 p.m., though the elections final results weren’t revealed until 3 a.m. Kangkana Koli, the director of political action for EMU’s Student Government, noted increasing nerves throughout the night.

“The tension is building up a lot and it’s definitely getting more serious,” she said. “In the beginning people were more ‘oh yeah we’re going to have fun’ but now all the results are coming in and are like ‘okay, this is reality’.”

A few hours after the event ended, the election declared Donald Trump president-elect, winning over Hillary Clinton with 290 electoral votes to 232. Students have shown a great deal of opposition to this decision not just at EMU, but also around the country.

Notably, Canada’s immigration site crashed after the results started to sway toward Donald Trump. A hashtag was produced on Twitter (#NotMyPresident) in protest to the results after their confirmation.


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