Read the Commencement Issue in print
Check out the digital Commencement Issue

U. students call for understanding, optimism in wake of stunning election

College Democrats and Republicans, affinity group members, and other University students expressed their opinions on the landmark election on Tuesday that saw Donald Trump voted in as the 45th President of the United States in a jaw-dropping election.

Amanda Glatt ’19, president of the College Democrats, expressed devastation, fear, and shock at the election results.


“My reaction is one… of disbelief that so many Americans are motivated by anger, uncertainty, and hatred,” Glatt said.

Glatt said that she expected Hillary to beat Trump in a close race on faith that “optimism and hope for a better country would win out over fear and hatred.”

Expressing resignation at the results, Glatt further noted that Trump’s election was part of a historical trend that matched similar expressions of fear across the world.

“This is a fear not unique to the United States, but common across the world, as demonstrated by the rise of nationalistic, populist, anti-immigrant movements in Eastern Europe, for example, as well as Brexit,” she said. “The election of Trump, in many ways, seems inevitable to me as a result of the historical and social trends that I discussed.”

Glatt said that she believed the election showcased something more than the candidates themselves.

“It seems to me we are caught in an inescapable historical trend. Trump won because of white turnout, because of racial and populist fear, and until we confront this fact, we cannot move forward,” she said.


Glatt is a former copy editor at The Daily Princetonian.

On the Republican side, Paul Draper ’18, president of College Republicans, expressed happiness and satisfaction at the election results. Though Draper did not expect any particular result, he expressed confidence that Trump would outperform Clinton in the election.

“I think Trump’s anti-establishment theme connected well with voters across the country,” Draper said. “People are fed up with crony capitalism, corruption, and political incompetence, and they feel unrepresented by current leadership in Washington,” he added.

Draper further expressed hope that conservative reform would follow in the wake of Trump’s victory.

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

“Donald Trump’s election will definitely bring a lot of changes to Washington. His leadership will hopefully be a shift away from the establishment politics that have disappointed so many Americans,” Draper noted. “In terms of policy, he’s laid out a number of strong proposals.”

Draper described the policies he hoped Trump would implement as President, including drafting immigration reform, replacing of Obamacare with a better competition-based system, lifting regulations for small businesses, and appointing a Supreme Court Justice who more strictly abides by the Constitution.

Both Glatt and Draper explained the need by the American people to move forward in the face of the election results. Glatt expressed the need to move forward and make differences across all facets of society.

“We do not have to wait for midterm elections in two years to fight back against what Trump and a Republican Congress and Supreme Court may push forward in legislation and court decisions,” she said. “The determined reaction I have met among many of my friends and family to keep fighting for change gives me hope.”

“Many people have made very vitriolic statements against Donald Trump and his supporters.” Draper observed. “This is obviously indicative of serious divides in the electorate, but I hope that people can be respectful and open-minded in the weeks and months to come.

“We should all follow the example of President-elect Trump, Secretary Clinton, and President Obama, who have reacted to the results with grace and have urged us to come together as Americans,” he said.

Casey Chow ’19 said that the decision, regardless of how it has affected people, is the final decision.

“I’ve accepted the fact that he won; no amount of practical election fraud, rigging, voter suppression could have made the results what they were without the support Trump had in the first place,” Chow noted.

In an email addressed to members of the Princeton Asian American Student Association, co-president Edric Huang ’18 stated that as someone who’s easily stereotyped as the “silent minority,” it’s unsettling to read about Trump’s “silent” supporters.

“When I first read those headlines, I thought I was reading about Asian-Americans, and even when I knew I wasn’t, I experienced a sick pride in knowing that the silent have been recognized. But I know they aren’t silent as much as we haven’t made the effort to listen — to the disenfranchised, to the disgruntled, to those who’ve come to harbor hate,” he said.

He continued by saying that for too long, Asian-Americans have failed to come together and concretely say: We have a shared experience.

“It’s about time we surprise this campus and country with how loud and vocal we are,” he said.

Students took their reactions to social media as well. Soraya Morales Nuñez ’18, a DREAMer, stated that despite her disappointment, she is not in despair.

“100% unapologetic for my brown skin, my rolling R’s, my compromised legal status, and my humanity. I have so much love in every inch of my body and that will never change, no matter how many blows are dealt to my community and me,” she wrote on Facebook.