College students and young people ages 18-29 make up 21% of eligible voters according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Both candidates campaigned across the USA, holding rallies, visiting community events, churches, and college campuses. However, some students feel that both candidates failed to capture college students as a whole. Donald Trump won the electoral votes, but Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a narrow margin.
“Millennials ages 18-29, supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 55% to 37%. Among young people of color, Clinton won by even more decisive margins,” according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
However, in January 2017, Donald Trump will be our next president. For some students, especially minorities, this new reality is terrifying.
Racial tensions have flared in schools and neighborhoods across the country, such as Chicago, Michigan, and my home state Pennsylvania just to name a few. People have also protested Trump’s presidency by holding “Not my President” rallies across the nation. With so many protests and hateful acts happening even before Trump is sworn in, what will happen when he takes office?
College students are just one segment of the population, but so much of our future depends on the state of the nation: Economy, Job Opportunities, Educational Opportunities, Student Loan Debt, Immigration, Gay Marriage, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, and the list goes on.
Students from universities across the country weighed in on their thoughts about the election:
On Being Heard: “For the majority of us, this is our first time voting. For the past eight years, we were able to witness history with President Obama. Unfortunately, many of us voted for one candidate simply because we don’t like the other. We voted for the lesser of the two evils. We waited so long to be able to vote because we saw that our voices could be heard. When the time came to do so, we didn’t have much to say. We wanted more from both Clinton and Trump because we wanted to feel excited and inspired.”
–Da’Quan Jones, Hampton University
On Fear: “As a child of an immigrant, as a black woman, and as a college student, I am scared. The thought of having Donald Trump elected as the president of the United States is sickening. I believe Hillary Clinton was much more qualified than him, yet received the short end of the stick. It just shows time after time how women lose to men no matter qualifications.”
–Nia Massey, Spelman College
On Failed Attempts: “I am disappointed in the outcome of the election. I feel that Trump failed to appeal to college students. Clinton, at least, attempted to connect with college students.”
–Niyah Brooks, North Carolina A&T State University
On College Students: “In 2016, it is discouraging to know that we allowed a candidate who displayed negative racially motivated views. I think Trump has failed college students by offering very few details about his plan for education. Vague plans lead to nothing but uncertainty within the country, and more specifically for college students.”
–Myles Ward, Purdue University
On ‘the system’: “The system failed not only college students, but America as a whole. Millennials voted for Hillary. Those people age 50 and up are in the majority that voted for Trump. Every situation in life is a chess game, and Trump made superior moves. My fellow students and I are tired of being pawns in the political game.”
–Jean-Emile Leconte II, St. John’s University
On a “Post-Racial” America: “‘Post-racial America’ is a dangerous fallacy that should have never even permeated its way into mainstream media. I told people that Trump had a real shot because, from my experiences in growing up in the midwest, I saw how hidden the prejudice was and how we were decades, even centuries, from living in a post-racial society.”
–Adrian Abrams, Georgetown University