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Temple Students Take Election Day

There is no denying that this election season has been like no other in our lifetime, or in the lifetime of many other Americans. It has been a debacle at its worse and almost a real-life version of Saturday Night Live at its best. And this past Tuesday, Americans all across the country cast their vote — even here at Temple University.

In the days leading up to Election Day, or “E-Day” as many in politics call it, Temple students were gearing up to head to the polls and cast their votes with friends. Election Day, to an extent, was something of a social gathering, where people excitedly went to the polls to exercise their right. In the city of Philadelphia, polling locations were no more than five blocks away from where a person lived, so many Temple students voted at the local churches and elementary schools. In the early morning, lines were quite short and the streets were fairly quiet. Thankfully SEPTA ended their recent strike, so Philadelphians were able to cast their votes between 7a.m. and 8p.m. without worrying about being late for work or other appointments.

Temple, a predominantly liberal and Democratic university, cast the majority of their votes for Secretary Hillary Clinton, however there were some who voted for Trump. The Cecil B. Moore office for Hillary Clinton canvassed dorms to remind students of the times the polls were open and where they were to go to vote. Those associated with the Trump campaign also canvassed the campus, placing Trump/Pence literature in some dorms and at some houses. Campus on election day was mostly followed by questions among friends like, “Do you know where to vote?”, “Where are you going?” and even some like, “So, how do you vote?” Junior Savanna Marino was curious as to whether or not there were any Republicans on the ticket with an agenda that may have been similar to hers. Senator Bob Casey came to the Bell Tower to remind students to get out the vote and later that evening, the Political Science Society held a watch party.           

Campus was calm and quiet on election day, a sign that the end of a season of crazy mottos and wild antics was finally coming to a close. Many of us were not here in 2008, nor in 2012, but it is safe to say that there was less energy and excitement during the election day of 2016 than in that of previous years. Students were not proudly supporting one candidate or another, but faced with the decision to vote for “the lesser of the two evils”. To Trump supporters on campus, they felt safer with business tycoon Donald Trump as president than with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Not all Clinton/Kaine supporters were filled with ecstasy as they headed to the polls either, as some were still lamenting Senator Bernie Sanders’s loss in the primaries.

Before the votes began to come in on Thursday night at 8 o’clock, the majority of student voters believed that the election was in the favor of Hillary Clinton — so much so that some voted for Trump as a joke, while voting Democrat down the ballot. Others did not vote at all because even though they didn’t like either candidate, they still felt that they knew Hillary would win. Others decided to write in the late gorilla Harambe’s name on their ballots, who has become an iconic meme not only on Temple’s campus, but across the country.

Personally, I was surprised by the rather calm tone on campus. I expected a little bit more electricity as this was, after all, a presidential election. I believe that there was more energy during the primaries — this time around not so much.

This lack of charisma soon turned to either bitterness or rage (or even a combination of the two) when it was announced that Donald Trump was the president-elect. The result of the evening was shocking – perhaps even flabbergasting to some students as they gasped in their dormitories and in student center watch party rooms. The shock came primarily from the fact that analysts had insisted the election was in Hillary’s favor – no one thought Trump had a true chance at the White House. But by the end of the night, Twitter and Facebook feeds were either filled with #MakeAmericaGreatAgain posts or people were expressing their deep sorrow and grief.

A historic, extraordinary election led to a highly climactic election night and we can be sure that Temple students’ involvement and excitement did not by any means end on November 8. 

Yaz is a current sophomore at Temple University, where she is pursuing a degree in Political Science with a double minor in French and Spanish. She is a member of Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity, as well. When Yaz is not writing or re-watching Parks and Rec, she is filling up on the latest political news around the world or attempting to learn a new language.
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