2020 Election National News News

Springfield College reacts to the 2020 Presidential Election

By The Springfield Student Staff

Amidst an ongoing election four days since election day, Joe Biden appears to be circling in on making President Donald Trump the first incumbent president to lose a re-election campaign in almost 30 years. However, the American public cannot expect the President to go down without a fight.

On Thursday evening, and non-stop on Twitter, President Trump has relayed a narrative that the election was being stolen from him. He said, “If you count the legal votes, I easily win.”

The President added, “This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election — trying to rig an election.”

The Trump campaign is referring to the historically large number of mail-in ballots that were encouraged by Democrats because of the COVID pandemic, and discouraged by President Trump and the Republican party.

When the east coast woke up on Friday morning, former Vice President Biden had come back to claim the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, while also maintaining his lead in Nevada and Arizona. With 253 called electoral college votes by most networks, Biden would win with a victory in Pennsylvania or a win in two of the other states he is currently leading.

Members of The Springfield Student staff collected reactions from Springfield College students and faculty.

Reactions were guided by four questions:

  1. How have you been following this election? (Did you have the TV on? Your computer, phone? Or did you tune out completely?)
  2. Was the way you followed this election different from elections past?
  3. What are your hopes and fears moving forward?
  4. What do you think the country needs from a leader right now?

***Note, several of the following reactions were collected before the final result of the election was announced***

Sabrina Williams
Junior – Hartford, CT

“I have been following the election on my computer using hulu’s live stream of ABC and I have also used social media postings to keep up with information (while fact checking it of course)

This is the first election I have followed due to the amount of knowledge I have now that I am older as well as personal concerns regarding the final vote. I wanted to stay as informed as I could because this election is going to impact millions of people including myself and I wanted to be as prepared as I could be.

I am hoping people will begin to see the injustices that have been embedded in our country as well as the concerns all people of marginalized communities and their allies see or encounter everyday. I am very worried about how divided this country has become especially in regards to this election. It is very concerning to see that as opposed to spreading hope, compassion, and a message of unity we are seeing many messages of power and hate. Personally I am concerned for my safety and the safety of others that look like me. However, to end on a hopeful note I am hoping overall this election will begin the process of unity. Although it may be a slow process I am hopeful that the country can get there.

I think this country needs a leader that is going to embrace and work towards unity and safety. We need someone who is going to care about the health of those impacted by covid. I think we need a leader who is going to make tough and unpopular decisions for the betterment of this country.”

Sara Labadorf
Huntersville – North Carolina

“I have been using TV, computer, and Snapchat news. I have definitely not tuned out.

I hope that our country can not be so divided based on parties. I would love for a middle ground candidate who could appease almost all. I also hope that soon I will be able to vote in an election where I’m not picking the least worst candidate. My fears include what happens after this election no matter who wins. People will most likely be upset, and I am worried for what actions that will turn into.

Unity and someone to bring us together. A country should be like a team and our president should be our team captain pulling us in to work together to accomplish goals and get through challenges.”

Anne Wheeler
Professor of Composition and Rhetoric

“What is being called “Election Stress Disorder” is a very real thing. As someone with a predisposition to anxiety, leading up to the election, I had to be extremely strategic about how much election-related media I chose to consume. I rarely watch televised or visual coverage of the candidates, and I did not tune into the debates as I didn’t want to witness the kind of spectacle we saw in 2016. I read newspaper coverage unless my anxiety got too high, and I checked in with my partner and trusted friends on certain issues. 

That said, I have been following the election extremely closely since Tuesday. I’ve used my phone to read coverage by CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and the Associated Press. At this point, I spend most of my time watching the numbers and reading sources that contextualize/interpret the results and why some races haven’t been called yet.

Not really. As noted above, I did watch the debates last time around, but for the past several elections, I’ve really worked hard to strike a balance between awareness and protecting my sanity.

This is a huge question. I am very worried about the bodily safety and the civil rights of our country’s marginalized groups. Speaking for myself, as a member of the LGBTQ* community, I am terrified about losing my right to marry and my freedom to work and move throughout the world without encountering legalized discriminatory practices. As a cisgendered white woman with the ability to “pass” as heterosexual, I am less concerned for my personal safety at this time, but I fear for the physical and emotional safety of the queer community, BIPOC, immigrants, and so many other people who belong to groups that don’t align with the increasingly narrow view of what it means to be American. If you aren’t familiar with the poem “First They Came,” you should read it immediately. There’s a lot more things that I worry about, but I’ll just focus on civil rights and safety here. 

Although my politics are firmly aligned with the progressive agenda, I acknowledge that our governing bodies need to find their way back to common ground. I want centralized policies that stop the death toll from the Coronal Virus (234K as of today) from rising exponentially. 

Someone capable and with actual political experience who is willing to reach out to the other side and rebuild the structures and practices that make democracy a tenable political system.”

Joe Leazott
Senior – Barre, MA

“I watched the election both from my computer by just watching the live results roll in on the map, and on TV, I like watching CNBC financial for a more unbiased approach and to see what the election was doing to the market.

My hopes would be to see some form of unity and leadership coming from the whitehouse when our country needs it most. I also would like to see some real change with the handling of the virus but I do not want a full lockdown necessarily. 

My fears are that nothing is done to change the social injustice in the country and that the violence will likely continue no matter which way the election goes.

The country needs someone to look to for hope and guidance the current state of the country is just red vs blue. There are those who are  quite literally fighting for change, and those that simply can’t be bothered to listen to what is going on in their own country. The United States needs a leader who will bring respect and professionalism back to the White House and the American people.”

Colby Wilson
Sophomore – Tewksbury, MA

“I watched the election at home, my parents and I sat by the TV following the results 

My hope is for a fresh start where everyone feels comfortable and supported for who they truly are. I’m nervous about the country becoming more divided than it already is and of potential riots regardless of who wins.

The country needs a leader who will first tackle COVID-19, listening to medical professionals on the steps needed. We also need someone who will stand for all marginalized groups with the current climate of the country. Overall, we need someone to start to bring the country back together and become more unified.”

Elizabeth Morgan
Professor of Psychology

“For the first two questions, I did follow the election mainly on my phone and computer using news websites like CNN, NPR, and NBC to provide updates. But, I also tried not to check them frequently and did not tune in much on election day itself, which is what differs from previous years when I have anticipated getting a good idea of the result the night of the election. This year I anticipated knowing less on November 3rd and perhaps more the day after, so I tried my best to wait to see what people were projecting until more votes were tallied.

At this point, regardless of the eventual outcome, I am concerned that such a high proportion of people in the United States respond positively to messages of hate and division within our country and are willing to support a political platform that promotes further division, hate, and disenfranchisement toward members of already marginalized groups (e.g., women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with religious backgrounds other than Christian/Catholic, people living in poverty, etc.). While I am well aware that negative attitudes and behaviors toward members of these groups already existed and perpetuate inequality, it is especially scary to see how vast swaths of the country would like to see increased discrimination toward these members of society. I am hopeful that local, state, and federal governments, agencies, and organizations can continue to make efforts and inroads to provide policies and services that will benefit all, and not just those in dominant social categories. I think the country needs a leader who will directly address the public health crisis and the pervasive discrimination and lack of health, educational, social, and economic services throughout the country.”

Jacques St. Jean
Junior – Goffstown, N.H

“I think I’ve paid more attention to this election than any other one. I sat on the couch with my roommates just listening to someone on the TV predict paths that each candidate can take. I’m not sure why but it makes me feel sick. The amount of nerves I have makes my skin crawl. It makes it hard to be able to function and be productive with this election going on. And obviously going remote for school is not helping. It makes it easier to skip classes, ignore work, and stay glued to the TV until a winner is announced, and one of two emotions come over me: relief, or fear.”

Patrick Love
Vice President for Student Affairs

“My hopes moving forward are that we can come together as a college community, a regional community, and a country to heal divisions and grow to be an inclusive, welcoming, hopeful, and love-based place.”

Anjelia Altebrando
Junior – Long Island, NY

“I’m scared that the US is not going to be as free a country as in previous years. I also feel Kamala is not fit for presidency and I’m afraid she will turn the United States upside down.”

Kris Rhim
Senior – Philadelphia, PA

“I had two Tv’s set up in my room and flipped through CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and ABC. I also had FiveThirtyEight’s live election blog up on my laptop. 

I hope Biden wins, but I am disheartened that almost 70 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. The fact that many people decided that his blatant disregard for marginalized people, poor handling of the coronavirus, among many other factors, were ok makes me worry about where our country is headed. I fear that the white supremacists, racists, and others who have gained confidence from Trump’s leadership will not go away if he loses and may even grow in numbers and hatred.

The country needs a leader that works with both parties to unify the country. A leader that is selfless and prioritizes the country before one’s interest. I think Biden is a step in the direction towards unity but is nowhere near perfect.”

Kyle Belanger
Professor of Communications

“(Following on) Twitter, and TV.

(This year was) absolutely different (than years past). Knowing that it was going to be a days-long process, I went to bed way earlier than usual on Tuesday (11 p.m.) and then just stayed attached to Twitter for the days following. Even now. 🙂 I’m relying much less on live TV broadcasts than I have in years past, simply because there are major parts of each day during which there are no actual updates.

Where do I start? Human rights. Public health. Growing pandemic numbers. Increased tribalism. The attempted gutting of public education. Children separated from their families waiting for a White House that will work to reunite them. An economy teetering on the brink. The list is immense.

It has been four years since we have had leadership that looked to close gaps and unite the country. Please note that this isn’t a divisive statement; the current administration proudly divides us. We desperately need an effort to return to the “U” in USA.”

Mackenzie Nunes
Junior – The Woodlands, Texas

“I’ve been following the election but like I know that it stresses me out a lot so we turned it off the first night and watched a movie instead. 

I just hope that we will continue to be active in government and realize that we truly do have a voice even if it doesn’t feel like it. 

I worry about people’s reactions to the election like in terms of feeling safe when going out in the community. 

I think we need leaders who have compassion and grace right now. Someone who is understanding that one way isn’t the right way for everyone and that even though their policies seem good for one group they aren’t going to fit everyone in the country.”

Ari Susi
Junior – Attleboro, MA

“We watched it on our TV in the living room and me and my roommates were up until 2 waiting for more results to come and I was definitely super nervous and anxiously awaited the swing states results. This morning (Nov. 4) I was thinking it was definitely going to go to Trump but then this afternoon when we swung Wisconsin I felt a lot better and am just trying to stay hopeful.”

Jack Anastopoulos
Junior – Brookline, MA

“I have been following the 2020 election through apple news, on my phone. In past years the election would be something I would follow along with every hour or so but this year it felt as if I was refreshing the application every second. One of my biggest fears moving forward as a country is the fact that we are in a recession and need to find an efficient way out of it. Another fear of mine is how Trump and or Biden will deal with racial issues moving forward. Both have shown racist tendencies and right now I think we need someone who actually cares about minorities and doesn’t just say they do. Lastly I am nervous about the unemployment rate going back up. If commercial taxes are raised it could potentially cause the UE rate to skyrocket. Things I hope to see moving forward is more unity. At this point I don’t mind who wins. I just want a house that works together towards a common goal that helps benefit America as a whole. I hope to see more reform in public schools as I personally struggled in the public school setting. Finally, I hope to see an end to the countless murders in minority communities. As a country I think we need a leader that finally opens their eyes to the problems at hand, and day by day does their best to tackle those problems. Regardless if this election goes red or blue, I need to see a productive four years by either Biden or Trump.”

Laura Dubowski
Professor of Communications

“On Election night, I watched CBS News at the top of the 8pm/9pm/10pm/11pm hours.   I knew that they usually report on the very latest results at the top of the hour – and as the different time zones are hit, I could see what was going on.   I also had my phone by my side.   I have the AP app downloaded.   Some networks said they would not call the race until AP did.   However most networks have their own exit polling and team of experts as well.  the AP explained how they made the call for each state.  Very reliable and, I believe, accurate.  

Yes, up until 2016, I was working – either in a news control room or on location at a campaign headquarters. If I was in the control room, I was also able to monitor all the competing stations and networks.  

My hope is that we all settle down.  We ARE all in this together.  We mostly  want the same things – what’s best for our families, our country and our fellow human beings.  I hope we foster a feeling of mutual respect and understanding for one another.  I hope we take our responsibilities as citizens of our various locales AND of the world seriously and work for the common good.

My fear is that social media will continue to stir the pot of incivility, hatred and mean-spiritedness. I’ve stopped reading the comments on Facebook.  Some are just too malicious and hateful for words.

I think we need a leader who understands the issues, who respects experts, who respects people who don’t agree with him.   I think we need someone who addresses the concerns of all the people in the room, not just the ones who think like him.  I think we need a leader who respects our historic allies and who sees his place in the world as a thoughtful leader.”

Damon Markiewicz
Associate Director for Media Relations

“I have been following the election results almost 24/7, streaming on my phone, internet, TV, using it all. I would say I have followed this election with a little more intensity than in the past. My hope is we somehow get more unified as a Nation, and learn to listen more and not always want to just win the argument as citizens. We need stable leadership and to get unified as Americans, that’s what I hope from our next president.”

Briana Tovar
Junior – Tucson, AZ

“I started watching the election on TV but after an hour or so I decided to follow it on my phone until late last night into early this morning. With the current state of the country I believe we need a leader who priorities civil rights above all else and promotes equality and diversity.”

Max Pape
Junior – Woodbury, CT

“I watched the election through social media. My hope is for unity. My fear is the uproar of heated debates, disputes, and arguments among loved ones, especially with the holidays coming up.”

Sam Ware
Sophomore – Oakham, MA  

“I watched the election until about 2 am, I’m hoping for Biden to win. My fear right now is that the result of the election will most likely spark riots in densely populated areas.”

Rachel Wentnick
Senior – Metuchen, NJ

“I’ve been watching the polls online and news updates on twitter. I hope the election is allowed to be carried out without interference from the current president.” 

Val Fox
First-year – Danbury, CT

“I was not home most of the night so I just watched the live updates on my phone and kept refreshing that. What excites me about the election would be how close the race  actually is and how big of an outcome it can have.” 

Daniel Sanfilippo
Senior – Fairfield, CT

“I would say because of how close the election is, it shows how divided we are as a nation. I fear that no matter the outcome, the two sides won’t be able to come together. I think what we need from a leader right now is simply reassurance that they care for the American people.”

Gillian Dube
First-year – Rockland County, NY

“I knew from the start this would be a very close and interesting election. When I was waiting on line to vote on of the workers said to me “are you a college kid” and I replied yes and he goes “I’ve never in my life see so many kids come out to vote in my 65 years of voting which makes me so proud of this next generation” which in general makes me so happy that no matter who you voted for so many younger people cared. At first we all thought we would know by last night and I stayed up till midnight and then went to bed because realistically no matter if Trump or Biden won it wasn’t going to affect my night enough to stay up all night. I am very eager to see who wins because it is so close and hope that no matter who wins everyone keeps peace just because I live so close to major cities like New York City and it would suck to see it be destroyed by either side.”

Photo: Getty Images/Tetra Images RF

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