Students watched anxiously as the election results unfolded and ended with a shocking win by Donald Trump during the Election Watch Party hosted by the College Democrats and Republicans clubs Tuesday night in the Campus Center Ballroom.
The results show that Trump won 279 Electoral College votes, whereas Hillary Clinton won 228. In order to win the presidency, 270 Electoral College votes are needed. Trump was able to solidify his lead by winning key battleground states, such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The roughly 50 students watching were glued to the screen showing the election results as they came in.
There was an air of tension in the room as the early results gave Trump the lead.
“I’m a little concerned,” said Tala Achi, sophomore political science major and college Democrats club president during the Watch Party. “Trump seems to be doing better than expected in the Electoral College. He’s leading in the states that he needs to win. He needs Florida and Ohio.”
Students were vocal about their dislike of both major party candidates.
“I don’t want (either) of the two candidates,” said Ryan Gray, junior international business and language major and Associated Students of the University of La Verne vice president of finance. “I voted for Gary Johnson. I think you shouldn’t have to choose between the two.”
“I think it’s very evident that everyone is nervous,” said Jaime Cervantes, senior biology major and ASULV vice president of communications. “It’s unfortunate that we have to make a decision when there’s a majority that doesn’t like either candidate.”
Although students have voiced their dislike of both candidates, most said that they would have preferred a Hillary Clinton presidency to a Donald Trump presidency.
“I would rather have Clinton as president,” said Alexis Coria, ASULV President and senior business major. “I’m scared because the aftermath could be violent. Trump just inspires hate and violence. America stands for justice, freedom and opportunity. I support Hillary because she can better represent those values.”
There were, however, some students that showed their support for Trump.
“I voted for Trump,” junior political science and philosophy major Marco A. Cisneros Jr. said. “It’s still up in the air at this point but I’m content because the House has already been confirmed to have a Republican majority.”
Around 10 p.m. the election results showed that Trump was still in the lead. Students expressed their anxieties and criticisms of the election.
“I started the night out feeling secure,” said Mariela Martinez, senior political science major and College Democrats treasurer. “I was sad but confident in the fact that Clinton would win. Trump is coming out on top even with Democratic states coming in. I feel lost, lied to, and my confidence in my fellow citizens is completely shattered.”
“I think we got to this point because of the electorate,” senior speech communication major Christopher Padilla said. “The people are far more polarized and far more entrenched in their ideologies than can possibly be healthy for the country.”
“I’m surprised but also not surprised,” junior anthropology major Sean O’Cain said. “This election has let me down so much. It just shows how education on the political system is needed.”
Hagop Hovsepian, junior international studies major, is an Armenian international student who shared his thoughts on the election.
“I can’t vote as I’m not a citizen,” Hovsepian said. “I feel like it’s cool to get a neutral stance but it’s more agitating just being a spectator.”
Students expressed concerns for the future as Trump’s lead was solidified.
“In my view, he will introduce a lot of insecurity and destabilize the international order,” said Christian Barba, junior political science major and Model United Nations club president.
Despite the unexpected results, students tried to maintain a positive outlook toward the future.
“Regardless of the outcome, we need to concede to that win,” Padilla said. “I will support whoever is my president. I have a lot of faith in our country.”
“The next four years will be difficult but if we preserve what the Founders set up to create then we will be fine,” Barba said.
Christina Garcia can be reached at email@example.com.