Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 18, 2016

Manchester Campus Reacts to Election Results

Virginia Rendler

The presidential election on Tuesday, November 8 yielded surprising results for many faculty members and students on campus. The new President Elect of the United States, Donald Trump, won the election with 290 electoral votes. Secretary Hillary Clinton received 228 electoral votes.

Professor Leonard Williams, dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences and professor of political science at Manchester, feels surprised about the results of this election. “Most everyone, including the Trump campaign itself, thought the election would go Clinton's way,” he said. “Though we are are surprised, even stunned, by the result, exit polls give us a pretty clear picture of what happened. It was definitely a change election, one where a Republican would be chosen over a Democrat for the White House. It was also an election where people cast retrospective votes, in which attitudes toward the economy, the federal government, and society of the past eight years shaped vote choice.” Williams believes the final factor was the role of race and ethnicity. Trump won among white voters, while Clinton did best among African Americans and Latinos.

Williams recommends that students keep their eyes open this coming term. “I will be watching to see how the American political system responds,” he said. “Pay attention to how Congress works, how the bureaucracy operates, and what role the Supreme Court plays. Our system can function to thwart presidential initiatives just as much as it can promote them.”

Barb Burdge, associate professor of social work, is hopeful that this election can promote community growth. “[I hope] that people who are committed to social and economic justice and ‘the better angels of our nature’ will come together in solidarity to continue the ongoing work of creating a more just, more humane, more peaceful and more perfect union,” she said. Burdge urges students to take action together to promote respect, fairness, inclusivity and justice, and to urge elected officials to continue to keep the wellbeing of all people in mind.

Students voting in their first election have been affected by this election as well. Chelsea Glenn, first year, feels that this upcoming term leaves a lot to the unknown. “Who knows what Trump will achieve,” she said. “He may be successful, he may not. At the moment, I’m not afraid of him. I am afraid of his radical supporters. They have portrayed hatred and too many people feel threatened.” Glenn hopes that students remember that they can still be heard. She suggests working to create a community of support, peace and knowledge.