College students across the country watched in horror on Tuesday night as election results rolled in, showing Donald Trump with a steadily growing lead in electoral votes over Hillary Clinton. As I sat encapsulated – and petrified – by an increasingly red map of the United States on my laptop for four hours, the only thought running through my mind was "this cannot be real."
By the early morning hours on Wednesday, Donald Trump had formally reached 270 electoral votes and Hillary Clinton had made plans to concede the race to Mr. Trump. I was heart-broken.
People across the globe were waking up to their worst nightmare: a Trump presidency. By midday Wednesday, reports of anti-minority vandalisms across college campuses began trickling in. Some Trump supporters are even going so far as to say they can do anything they want now to women and people of color because our president-elect doesn't seem to care. Some schools, including NYU, are implementing safe-zones for students to share their feelings and reactions about the election. NYU even held a rally Thursday night to promote peace and acceptance on campus.
By Wednesday night, anti-Trump protests broke out in major cities across the United States, including right here in Union Square, stretching all the way to Trump Tower in midtown on 5th Avenue. Chants of "Donald Trump is full of shit" rang through Union Square, 5th Avenue, Times Square, and Columbus Circle. On social media, the phrase "Not My President" has spread like wildfire, so much so that there's actually a campaign underway to sell "Not My President" merchandise in protest of Trump's election.
These results caught everyone by surprise, even Trump supporters. And as shocking as the end result is, as much as some people might not want it to happen, Donald Trump is going to be our next president.
Here's what we can do:
If you're feeling silenced in the face of white supremacism, don't be afraid to speak out. Donald Trump was the loud megaphone giving voice to many who felt voiceless, and that's what we must do for ourselves right now. Do not let yourself be silenced by this new America. Do not let yourself feel that there is no place for you in this country.
Below is what the electoral map would've looked like if only millennials voted in this election:
Do not forget that college students are the future of this country. Find your place in activism, and make yourself heard.
Trump's presidency has raised many important questions that require well-thought-out answers. What will happen with the issue of college-affordability, especially at a school as expensive as NYU? How will international students studying here be affected by an America with closed borders? How has this election affected international students' relationships with friends and family back home? With the growing awareness of sexual assault on college campuses, what will become of rape culture since we now have a president who seems to be a catalyst for it? These are questions that Fresh U NYU is currently trying to find answers to by doing extensive research and interviews with other students. If you're reading this article and would like to share your thoughts with us on the election or would like to write a piece concerning the election, please feel free to contact Dennis, Anoushka, or Norria (you can find our emails in the About page of this site). We will also be updating this article with links to our newer articles regarding answers to some of these questions.
To end on a lighter note, Trump's presidency will only be temporary, and we will live far after the end of Trump's four years in office. But because we are the future of this country, we need to make sure these next four years are filled with activism, change, and progress – make yourselves heard and make it known that the future is ours.