Donald Trump, R-NY, won the 2016 U.S. presidential election with 279 electoral votes, topping Hillary Clinton, D-NY, who received 218.
The President-elect received 47 percent of the popular votes, losing to Clinton by one percent and about 600,000 votes. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson got three percent of the popular votes.
In his acceptance speech, Trump said:
I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
Students posted on social media throughout the day, encouraging others to vote and posting photos of themselves voting. The majority of the posts promoted Clinton.
The university hosted a party with free pizza and cupcakes from 7-10 p.m. in the Great Hall in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center, but the election was not finished when the party ended.
After the polls closed and votes were tallied, a group of students gathered on the quad to sing songs and play improv games to comfort each other.
“I never thought that I would ever feel scared to live here,” said Abby Bryan, acting freshman. “I hope that our nation can stand together for love and not hate right now because there is no way those of us in his line of fire are going down without a fight.”
Caroline Harrist, music education junior, said she had trouble falling asleep after the election.
“I’m trying to sleep, but I’m crying,” she said. “I’m so sad for all of the progress we’ve made as a country that could be taken away and for everyone who is legitimately afraid for their freedom and wellbeing. I just hope that love will still win.”
Not all students were disappointed in the election results.
“I’m proud to finally be able to express my Republican views as a woman on campus after feeling repressed for so long,” said Elaine Weatherby, acting junior. “I hope that we can all learn to respect each other and to come together as a nation once again. I think this gives us an incredible opportunity to be challenged and learn something of worth from the other.”
Hannah Rogers, film production sophomore, said she will force herself to be positive.
“These next four years are going to be about work,” she said. “We must not become complacent. We must always work toward love and equality for all. This is our time to use what we are feeling to fuel a change in America for the better.”
Because the U.S. uses an electoral college, the election results are not official until the 538 electors cast their votes on Dec. 19. The electors are divided between the states based on population. U.S. citizens determine the popular vote of each state, and electors typically vote for the corresponding party. Electors that defy the popular vote are called faithless electors. Faithless electors have not previously affected presidential results, and 99 percent of electors have voted as pledged.