The presidential election results had various emotions circulating the campus as well as the rest of the nation.
“What I witnessed when I came back to school immediately the next day was just—silence,” said Mattie Walls, a Family Studies major at The W. “Everyone walked around like it never happened. We didn’t discuss it in class. You may have discussed it a lot with your family and friends, but at school it was like no one said anything about it.”
People have been divided across the country regarding their opinions about President-elect Donald Trump.
“With all of the rhetoric going around about Trump’s ideas about women, it’s terrifying for me because I have a little sister, and I don’t want her to hear that language and think it’s OK,” said Ezra McKee, president of the MUW College Democrats. “I also don’t want little boys thinking that kind of thought process about women is OK. Aside from that, I’m worried about the hate against people of color and religious intolerance. I know that Muslim women’s hijabs have been pulled off in many states, and that’s disrespectful.”
The divide has been demonstrated through protests across the country. Millions have signed petitions asking for President-elect Trump to be kept from taking office.
McKee voiced her support for these protests but cautioned against violence.
“I know when Obama was elected president both times there were protests against him. I think it’s exercising our first amendment rights,” said McKee.
Students at University of Tennessee protested against Trump’s victory by chanting “not my president” and “America will never be great” for hours on campus. Trump supporters at the university joined to protest as well.
“It’s a little too late. If protestors would’ve put half that much energy into getting Hillary Clinton elected, then she would’ve been president-elect today,” said Walls.
During the presidential campaign, Trump stated that he planned to build a wall along the southern border to control immigration, repeal Obamacare, reconstruct the military and its agencies, as well as renegotiate or remove the United States from major trade agreements with other countries.
“In order to be a good president, he must not do the things that he says he’s going to do,” said Price Hughes, a Communication major at The W.
Following his victory, Trump has changed his mind about some of his policies such as completely repealing Obamacare, same-sex marriage and building the wall.
“I’m not surprised, because building a wall is financially ridiculous, and there’s no way he could do it,” said Hughes. “I think that if we went back to deporting a certain group of people, that knocks us back 150 years to how this country once was back when we treated other minority groups so bad. I don’t think there’s any way even he would allow us to go back to it no matter how ridiculous he is.”
“He did what he was supposed to do to get elected,” said Walls. “He sold many people ‘wooden nickels’ as we call it and he sold you the farm and you bought it. Now the farm isn’t there anymore. It never was.”
Still, some students were surprised by Trump’s victory.
“It makes me feel like we might have a chance with him as president. He has not mentioned half the stuff he did in his policy. I think that might give us a chance, but it’s still not a bright light,” said Elliot Hatch, a Communication major.
In a recent interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Trump said now that he has won, he plans to focus on jobs, immigration bills and healthcare. He also expressed how surprised and saddened he is at his supporters for stirring violence after his victory. President Obama emphasized that he would work hard to ensure a smooth transition into the Trump administration.
What can the rest of us do now that the election is over?
“First of all, pray. Pray for our country and our leaders,” said Walls.