On Nov. 8, students gathered in the lower cafe to attend a watch party hosted by several student organizations and the Department of Campus Life as results poured in for the 2016 presidential election.
The watch party was organized by the Student Government Association (SGA), the Quinnipiac Political Science Association (QPSA), QU Democrats, the College Republicans and the Department of Campus Life.
The purpose of the watch party was to encourage members of the Quinnipiac community to engage in the election, according to QPSA President Joe Iasso.
“I don’t think a lot of people do as much as they could [to be involved in the election], and this just provided them a place to go,” Iasso said. “We wanted it to be a relaxing, but politically engaging.”
Freshman political science major Emily Szamocki, who is still not old enough to vote, attended the watch party in order to show her support for the election regardless of her non-voting status.
“As a political science major, this is really important to me, and I thought that it’d be more a historical memory for me if I did it with a large group of people that I could connect with on a political level instead of just watching it by myself,” Szamocki said.
Iasso said this election is interesting because he believes the Quinnipiac campus is politically divided.
“It’s really cool that we go to a campus that is 50/50 Democrats and Republicans,” Iasso said. “I think that adds to the engagement on campus because we have that 50/50 campus and it’s not leaning towards one way.”
Student body president Joseph Mullaney emailed students on Monday, Nov. 7 to conduct a survey that aimed to mimic the real 2016 presidential election.
The results of the mock election concluded that 46 percent of the student population voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while 42 percent voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
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The Student Government Association mock election was closely received to the 2016 presidential election. Several instances throughout the night CNN, the network viewed at the watch party, expressed that many states were “too close to call.”
Freshman Kendra Currie, a student present at the watch party, said she was in high states of anticipation watching the debate.
“It’s nerve-wracking. You kind of hold your breath every time they bring it up on the screen,” Currie said. “Obviously, some states are predictable. Like I’m from Massachusetts we’re blue either way, so like you know you’ve got some things in the bag. But it’s a toss-up really.”
Iasso said many people left the watch party early because they didn’t realize how long the process was going to take.
“It goes on for a long time, and some people don’t know how long it’s going to go on for,” he said. “I think people were expecting an earlier call.”
By 2:30 a.m., CNN reported Trump was closest to victory with 247 electoral votes, a mere 23 votes from the 270 electoral votes needed to win, while Clinton had 215 electoral votes.
After crying about five times throughout the night, Szamocki said this election has been an emotional roller coaster for her.
“You know you get states come in for Hillary, and you get that energy especially when she won the West Coast an hour ago,” Szamocki said. “But now it’s starting to wind down and you see Trump getting closer to 270, and you’re starting to think well you know maybe I need to start thinking realistically about what the future is going to be.”
With Trump in the clear majority of the country, students began to think about the future of America.
Sophomore Caroline Sullivan said she believes the country is going to be more openly divided with Trump as president.
“I think we’ve had a lot of issues with division with the country, and they’ve grown over the last eight years just because people, the Republican party, put a lot of pressure into delegitimizing Barack Obama, and that was mostly led by Donald Trump, ironically,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s just going to be much more open because people were given a voice. As much as I believe in free speech, people were given a voice that they should not have.”
By 3 a.m., Trump was officially announced the next president of the United States.