By Amanda Forbes
Texas State University students had mixed reactions to the election of Republican Donald J. Trump as president on Nov. 8, 2016.
The election left the entire nation in shock after polls across the country that predicted an easy win by Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton were proved wrong. Contrary to the predicted outcome, the Republican party emerged victorious above the Democrats who had held the presidency under President Barack Obama since 2008.
The day after the election people took to the streets to protest election results. The New York Times reported protests in Dallas and Oakland and marches in Boston, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and Seattle, among even more cities. In some cases, the protests turned into violent riots.
Protests were also seen at educational institutions. High school students in California staged walkouts and students at universities around the nation began protests and marches.
The Texas Tribune reported hundreds of University of Texas students marching across downtown Austin to protest Trump’s victory. The protest was formed by a coalition of student organizations at UT such as the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Queer and Trans Alliance and the Revolutionary Student Front.
Texas State University saw its own protests on Nov. 10. The protests started at 7 a.m. when students gathered in the Quad to peacefully hold up signs in defiance to the president-elect. Trump supporters were present to counter-protest as the day went on but campus police said no violence erupted.
Clinton supporters dominated the crowd in the protest on the Texas State campus. Student Sarah Halmon voted for Clinton and said she truly believed the Secretary of State would win.
“I voted for and support Hillary Clinton because she is for women’s rights, supporting a woman’s right to choose and equal pay,” Halmon said. “I agree with her on other issues, too, like taxing the wealthy and supporting the middle class.”
Halmon said she couldn’t believe Donald Trump, who made numerous derogatory remarks towards women, could be elected president.
“I am worried about Donald Trump being our next president,” Halmon said. “He has made many racist, sexist, and other derogatory comments towards women, Mexicans and gay people. He handles himself poorly, uses crazy rhetoric and is immature.”
Other students voted for neither the Democrat or Republican nominees. Student Jairo Devora, who voted for Gary Johnson, said he disagrees with Trump’s statements and election, but will attempt to remain open-minded.
“The voices that were heard in the end were Republicans,” Devora said.
The country has become divided at the results of the election. Devora said Clinton made it far, showing how progressive the country has become, but added that it wasn’t time yet for that kind of leader.
“It was a good thing as a whole, at least partially, that we could have had a woman leader,” Devora said.
Other students simply did not vote at all. Student Oscar Garza said he didn’t believe Trump and Clinton to be qualified for the position.
“I didn’t like either one of them,” Garza said. “And I was not voting for third party because that would have been a waste of time, too.”
Garza added that he believed the protesters should have been more active before the election was over and it wasn’t such a “big deal.”
The election has also brought up the issue that seems to emerge every four years: the Electoral College. Despite winning the popular vote by more than a million, Clinton did not win the Electoral College, and thus the presidency. Halmon said she felt her vote didn’t count due to the structure of the current system.
“I wish that the electoral college system was not the deciding factor in the election, but rather based off of popular vote,” Halmon said.
President-elect Donald Trump will take office Jan. 20, 2017.
“Hopefully he can make America great again,” Garza said. “I hope next election is better.”