Widgets Magazine
Campus faces turmoil in wake of Trump victory
President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist, with running mate Mike Pence standing by, following a speech to his supporters after winning the election at the Election Night Party at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/TNS)

Campus faces turmoil in wake of Trump victory

Anger, anxiety and fear were on the minds of students on Tuesday evening as TV entertainer and real estate mogul Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in a stunning upset.

Trump’s win marked the end of one of the most divisive elections of our time. Characterized by vitriol, mudslinging and conspiracy theories, the race revealed fundamental disagreements about what direction the country should move in — both between and within parties, as the hotly contested primaries demonstrated. Having served as secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady, Hillary Clinton was touted during her campaign as being uniquely prepared for the presidency, whereas Trump ran on the promise of being an outsider.

At an impromptu "F*ck Trump" rally in White Plaza, students voiced their frustration and uncertainty as to the future of the country (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily).

At an impromptu “F*ck Trump” rally in White Plaza, students voiced their frustration and uncertainty as to the future of the country (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily).

Under the slogan “Stronger Together,” Clinton pushed a message of unity in the face of uncertain socioeconomic circumstances. Trump was characterized as a reactionary who had done much to alienate large subsets of the population. Throughout the race, the Republican candidate overcame bitter criticisms of his inflammatory and often deceitful language, allegations of sexism and racism, tax scandals and nebulous policy positions; he now faces the task of uniting a country that for the last year has been embattled in heated rhetoric and a deep partisan rift.

In asking for the country to unite following the election, Trump also made a promise.

“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me,” Trump said in his acceptance speech in New York.

Across campus, watch events were characterized by subdued moods and the exhaustion of a long election season. As early election results came in from the East Coast, a sense of anxiety or hope made it difficult for some classes convening during the day to focus. One professor called for her class to refrain from checking the news so they could concentrate on 1940s Japanese history for an hour.

“There might even be some lessons to be drawn from today’s lecture, like what right-wing nationalism and racism can do to a country,” she joked.

Reactions ranged from denial to indignation to restrained optimism as polls closed and the odds shifted dramatically in Trump’s favor. Over 400 students gathered in White Plaza just after 10 p.m. for an anti-Trump rally, joining to voice their frustration at the election of a man who throughout the race consistently pushed the limits of what was acceptable for a presidential candidate to say and do.

At the rally, students and community members took turns with a megaphone, sharing their fears on the direction of policy and on an environment of xenophobia and bigotry under a likely Trump presidency. One student, a Muslim, lamented how he would be treated in a country that voted in favor of a man who at one point suggested instituting a national registry of Muslim residents. Others voiced anger that the progress in marriage equality, healthcare and social justice made during the last eight years would be unraveled.

Romeo Umaña ’19, whose mother is an undocumented immigrant, grappled with the uncertainty of his family’s and the country’s future.

“I’m honestly more afraid than in my whole life,” he said. “What’s going to happen to my mom and people who are undocumented?”

Viewers of the SIG watch party at Ng House were emotional after it became clear that Trump would win the presidency (MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily).

Viewers of the SIG watch party at Ng House were emotional after it became clear that Trump would win the presidency (MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily).

Though the rally’s organizers, several freshmen from Ujamaa, emphasized from the start that the meetup was entirely nonviolent and meant as only a forum for students to speak their minds, several security guards circled the crowd. Provost John Etchemendy addressed the gathered community early on.

“This has been a shock to every member of our community,” he said. “I often talk about the Stanford family because you’re all part of the Stanford family, and we mean that. The way we mean that is that what happens to any one of you happens to all of us. We will protect you. Don’t be afraid. You have the University behind you.”

Students discussed not only their frustrations and anger, but also the necessity of a path forward. One speaker compared Trump’s upset win to the Brexit vote, which liberals also did not believe would come to pass. Others called for renewed activism and efforts to connect to the poor white working class, which formed an important voter base for Trump.

“Every ounce of patriotism has escaped me in this moment,” said Erin McCoy ’20, who attended the rally. “I have never been less proud to be an American.”

The businessman and reality television star’s upsurge stunned students and pollsters alike, who up until the morning of the election had predicted a routing by Clinton. However, as results came in from battleground states, Trump surged ahead for decisive leads in Ohio, Florida, Michigan and, eventually, Pennsylvania.

At a 150-person watch party at Ng House hosted by Stanford in Government (SIG), what began as excitement at the prospect of the first female president devolved into nervousness and then anguish.

“I am absolutely speechless,” Dan Trunzo ’18 said. “I think this election highlights how, as a Stanford student, you can’t really internalize and comprehend how more than half a nation is able to vote for a candidate that we all take for granted as representing and embodying everything that we might find wrong; yet [the election] highlights the fact that we are living in and being educated in a bubble.”

Viewers at Ng House watch as key states are called (MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily).

Viewers at Ng House watch as key states are called (MICHAEL SPENCER/The Stanford Daily).

“This is my first presidential election where I’m voting,” said Libby Scholz ’17, chair of SIG. “While I’m personally disappointed in this result, I’m trying to keep in mind that we have the incredible privilege of a peaceful transition of democracy where most countries don’t.”

Scholz also said that she is looking forward to continuing to connect Stanford students with public service and policy opportunities.

“Our nation needs Stanford students to step up as leaders of the future,” she added.

At the “Women to Watch” viewing party, students of all genders crammed into the Women’s Community Center, with many holding out hope even late into the night. When California was called for Clinton, supporters gave a hearty cheer despite the New York Times prediction nearing 90-percent likelihood of a Trump victory. Several students expressed confusion about how to proceed in anticipation of a Trump presidency.

“For a long time, I didn’t contemplate the actual possibility of this happening, and now I’m trying to figure out what [a Trump presidency] actually will even look like,” Zoe Savellos ’18 said.

At the Stanford College Republicans watching event in Lantana, meanwhile, just 13 students gathered, somewhat subdued yet still upbeat. One “Make America Great Again” hat stood out among khaki pants and collared shirts.

“I don’t think anyone expected Trump to win this evening,” said Elise Kostial ’18, president of the Stanford College Republicans.

The group itself can’t endorse candidates, and so Kostial declined to share her personal views. The other attendees also declined to offer comment.

“We welcome everybody who supports the Republican platform, regardless of their opinions on Trump,” Kostial said. “We’re all really excited about the margins in the House and in the Senate.”

From Stanford in Washington, students working and studying in the nation’s capital stayed up until Clinton’s concession call at 3 a.m. EST.


A Daily survey last week showed that 84.7 percent of Stanford students supported Hillary Clinton, while only 3.9 percent backed Trump (ANDREW SOLANO/The Stanford Daily).

Justin Hsuan ’18, the lone Republican student in the program, said in a statement to The Daily, “If anything, Trump’s election represents the fulfillment of that old American adage, ‘In the United States, anyone can grow up to be President.’ I’m proud of my country for electing the candidate whom I feel was the best choice. I look forward to seeing how he will govern.”

As news media outlets began to call the election, screams rang out on main campus.

In his victory speech, Trump congratulated Clinton on a hard-fought campaign and acknowledged her civic contributions.

“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” he said.

For students, however, 84.7 percent of whom supported Hillary and only 3.9 percent of whom supported Trump, the result on Tuesday was nothing less than a bitter disappointment. For many, it was a devaluation of their identities as Americans with a claim to their country equal to that of anyone else.

“I don’t feel like an American right now,” Hannah Llorin ’18 said.


Courtney Douglas, Miguel Samano, Andrew Solano, Michael Spencer and Tristan Vanech contributed to this report.

Contact Victor Xu at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu and Ada Statler-Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Victor Xu

Victor Xu '17 is an editor and graphics designer. An economics major, he hails from Carmel, IN. He is interested in international development and Kanye West. To contact Victor, email him at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.
  • obamaiscarter

    It is freakin hilarious how the “authors” of this piece detail Trump’s various shortcomings, yet literally do not mention a single scandal that involved Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary is described thusly: “Under the slogan ‘Stronger Together’. Clinton pushed a message of unity in the face of uncertain socioeconomic circumstances.”

    We are treated to this description of Trump: “Trump was characterized as a reactionary who had done much to alienate large subsets of the population. Throughout the race, the Republican candidate overcame bitter criticisms of his inflammatory and often deceitful language, allegations of sexism and racism, tax scandals and nebulous policy positions;…”

    Given that Clinton , you know, lost, it is fairly obvious she “alienate[d] large subsets of the population” as well.

    There is literally NOT A SINGLE WORD, not one, about the e-mail scandal that dogged her campaign, the allegations of corruption surrounding the Clinton foundation, the Benghazi investigation, etc.

    Is this a college newspaper, or an organ of the Democratic Party? You can choose both options. Most college “news”papers clearly have. Seriously, how can you write an article of this length about the two candidates without once, ONCE, for crying out loud, mentioning the FBI investigation into her e-mails? Simply amazing. No wonder the “authors” of this article are at Stanford and not Harvard.

  • obamaiscarter

    “What’s going to happen to my mom and people who are undocumented?”

    That’s probably something that should have been given a wee bit of thought BEFORE the “undocumented” consciously decided to violate US immigration law. I’m no criminologist, but I think it is safe to say that negative consequences might result if you are caught breaking the law. Yeah, I know I’m going out on a limb by pointing out that fact.

  • obamaiscarter

    “While I’m personally disappointed in this result, I’m trying to keep in mind that we have the incredible privilege of a peaceful transition of democracy where most countries don’t.”

    I think you forgot this part of her quote: “But that probably still won’t prevent me from comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler”.

  • obamaiscarter

    “‘Every ounce of patriotism has escaped me in this moment,” said Erin McCoy ’20, who attended the rally. ‘I have never been less proud to be an American.’”

    Given that statement, it’s probably safe to bet she had very few “ounce[s]” in her to begin with.

  • John H. Gleason

    I don’t understand how anyone with an open mind, open eyes, and open ears can be shocked by the election’s outcome. I personally do not know anybody who expressed support for Hillary Clinton. She was a terrible candidate on the issues, and her dishonesty and superciliousness were big turn-offs. Most importantly, many Americans are weary of progressive-globalist policies and a political elite that seems focused on its own well-being.

  • Candid One

    So, you’re doing what you accuse these “authors” of doing…just a different fishbowl. Very little of the “evil” that Trump was a attributing to Clinton was ever accurate…it was and is nonsense. Mostly he was merely throwing out stuff so that it would be applied to her first, instead of him. This is politics in the 21st Century…middle school stuff and its clearly over your head.

  • George Gagner

    This is a wake up call to naive, insulated, isolated academics.

    There are many intelligent, compassionate, aware people in this country that do not like the cultural direction and influences of certain elements of this country. That was demonstrated clearly in this vote. Also demonstrated, arguably, was the racism in the black community, which turned out in high percentages for Obama elections and voted almost exclusively for him, but did not turn out nearly as strongly in this election.

    The message: Trump voters do not like: (i) illegal immigration, (ii) lawless scummy urban culture, (iii) unchecked globalization and the resulting loss of middle class US jobs, (iv) single payer healthcare, (v) immigration from terrorist-rich locales, (vi) Presidents who do not really identify first and foremost with America, and (vii) being told that we need accept and accommodate toxic groups and cultures.

    Sorry if this invades your safe space, but welcome to the real world.

  • Ron Willard

    Check out the Harvard Crimson’s articles about the election. Not one mention of Clinton’s email scandals, Benghazi..any of that: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/11/9/donald-trump-wins-president-2016/
    and https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/11/9/trump-victory-campus-quiet/

    Also, while you’re at it, check out the admittance rate for both Stanford and Harvard. Which is more difficult to get into, hmm?

  • thisslelerlele

    I think what should be of concern to Stanford is that Silicon Valley may dramatically lose competitiveness now that Donald Trump wants to make it harder for firms to sponsor work visas (H1B) and opposes raising the H1B visa quota/cap. A true free-market Republican would allow highly qualified legal immigrants (such as Stanford STEM Masters/PhD grads) to compete against Americans in the job market (of course in a well- regulated manner with wage protections). Word on the street is that Trump also wants to eliminate STEM OPT.

  • obamaiscarter

    “This is politics in the 21st Century…middle school stuff and its [sic] clearly over your head”.

    My statement has nothing to with the supposed “‘evil’ that Trump was attributing to Clinton”, moron. Are you seriously claiming that the months-long FBI investigation into her e-mails had no impact on this election, and thus merits not a SINGLE WORD of mention in this article? You genuinely seem to be suggesting that the server in her basement was a figment of Trump’s fevered imagination. If so, you’re even more of a moron than your hilariously stupid reply indicates. I’m not going to discuss the Benghazi investigation and the irreparable damage it did to her “reputation”, such as it was. I suppose that means I am qualified to write at the Stanford Daily.

    You’re an idiot, plain and simple.

  • Atlas_Shrugged

    You kids are uninformed, hate-filled, entitled pansies.

  • Atlas_Shrugged

    Well stated.

  • Atlas_Shrugged

    The authors of this article are hate-filled race-baiters. This just in kids — it’s over. Your sick, twisted liberal fantasy of torturing white conservatives is over.

  • Robert Wilson

    Laws can be changed.

  • marcus

    Time for Trump to clean house.

    1 Get rid of Loretta Lynch clean up the corrupt DOJ
    2. Get rid of Obamacare.. a disaster- premiums up an average of 25% not sustainable
    3. secure the border
    4. renegotiate trade deals
    5. tax cuts coming
    6. deregulation coming
    7. large infrastructure program coming creating new jobs
    8. Restore law and order and respect for law enforcement.

    America won on Tuesday

  • TiaMiaOhMy

    REALLY – why is the college coddling this young adults? These are young people who at their age should be able to understand there are winners and there are losers and that in an election the SKY IS NOT FALLING!! Good gosh! And, how do they think the other side would have dealt with “their” victory if it had come out differently? Every presidential term there is going to be CHANGE and then the people can speak out by their VOTE (NOT RIOTING – or destroying property – beating people)…and that’s what happened this time. People were NOT HAPPY with the direction of this country, this current administration. So, “children” as you should be referred to because that’s how you’re acting…the sky is not falling, the sun will come out and YES, maybe things will be different — suck it up — you’ll have a chance to make a change like this again in 4 years — that’s the blessing of living in such a great country!! OR, you can choose to MOVE TO CANADA like the other idiots that said they would…don’t let the door hit you rear on the way OUT!

  • TiaMiaOhMy

    THANK YOU George – EXCELLENT points!! I hope to share this on Facebook. I am floored by the all this coddling — get a grip — this is just a small reason why America has to wake up…we’ve gone way to soft and are raising whiney, little spoiled brats.

  • thisslelerlele

    I agree with some of that but large infrastructure program (in other words, stimulus spending) ? Sounds really conservative to me… not…

  • marcus

    Trump said he was going to create jobs Bigly.

    He’s doing it. that’s why he was elected and Hillary and her corrupt crime family are finished.

  • thisslelerlele

    All I’m saying is that infrastructure spending is Keynesian economics and not particularly conservative/Republican and quite similar to what Bernie Sanders proposed and Barack Obama did as part of his economic stimulus during the Great Recession.

  • marcus

    Trump is a business man and job creator.. he knows what he is doing despite media’s best attempts to parrot their false and biased narratives.

  • thisslelerlele

    Obama created 11 million private sector jobs (since Feb 2010), but also massively increased our debt. What makes you think Trump can do the same (or better, hopefully) without further increasing the debt (which massive infrastructure spending would entail)? What about Trump’s tax cuts? How is he going to account for the hole that he will create in the budget alongside infrastructure spending? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. He also wants to rebuild the military, spending even more money.

  • marcus

    Obama created massive debt more than any president… and debt is not necessarily bad.. our economy is based on debt and credit growth. Trump will generate jobs and economic growth for the middle class and rust belt and decrease burdens on businesses with deregulation and killing obamacare to grow the economy.

    we are year 8 into this business expansion mature by any measure.. on top of that you have anemic growth because of a politicized fed that kept interests rate low. there will be a recession as part of the business cycle and hopefully it will be brief as Trump’s economic plan gets into full gear.

  • marcus

    it’s becoming clear as Trump is preparing to take the office that Obama was lazy and not particularly interested in governing.. He preferred to rule via decree and executive orders. obama’s presidency was largely ineffective suffering from lack of leadership and executive skills.

    1. Obama rarely ran a cabinet meeting so basically everyone was running their own fiefdoms without accountability.
    2. Corruption at the DOJ with Loretta Lynch
    3. Corruption with Hillary as SOS and pay for play with the Clinton Foundation
    4. Obama used Executive Orders almost exclusively… rarely got any legislation passed

    Trump is a doer and works relentlessly… He had 7 rallies on Monday, 5 rallies on Sunday prior to his election win. His rallies often numbering in the tens of thousands were attended by devoted supporters especially in the rust belt who have seen their jobs gutted by poor trade policies, over regulation and tax incentives that shipped their jobs overseas.

    Trump is rapidly putting in place the system, processes and personnel needed to get the American economy growing again. He will get the job done.

    America is very lucky to have Trump who has been underestimated every step of the way by a biased, ,hypocritical, condescending, cynical and arrogant media and establishment.

    the American electorate, despite the media’s assertion that Trump supporters are a bunch of stupid racist hicks, are in fact very wise and saw right through the false narratives parroted by MSM. America won Tuesday and I am very excited about the future with Trump as president.

  • agnosic1

    Stanford has grown accustomed to other institutions kowtowing to them. The recent Brock Turner case suggested bias at the state judicial level.

    Within Stanford, criticism of Stanford Hospital by The Stanford Daily staff provoked administrative rebuke. As recently as 2014, Stanford Hospital personnel were involved in heinous acts against patients. Betraying the Stanford disconnect, Calls placed to Stanford [by ABC News] were not returned… .”

    Time for Stanford to look to “change from within.”

    “Stanford Health Care Faces Criticisms For Poor Patient Care Measures”
    The Stanford Daily — February 17, 2016

    “Former Stanford Hospital Employee Accused Of Groping Patients
    ABC News — Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • The Shallow Alto Kid

    What I don’t get is why you people don’t understand that this story,the author and the cretins shown in the photos are precisely why the nation opted for Trump.Clinton was arguably the most corrupt candidate for President in U.S. history,but apparently her supporters embraced continued failure. Why? Shaw’s pet’s,huh?

  • A.S.

    Grow up you “pussies” who have nothing better to do than protest something that was fair and legal! I am a Constitutionalist and I did not protest Obama, even though I hated everything about him from not being born in this country to being the most radical leftist communist president the U.S. has ever seen. I did not even cry. Whereas Trump is a true American, has core American values, and speaks from his heart. If I were a professor at that school, I would mock you for the rest of your years at that school.

  • marcus

    all this does is condone liberal social bullying and intolerance of opposing views.

    I guess Stanford only believes in free speech sometimes

  • hidytidy

    The big wake up call is coming for the tech industry. These discussions are becoming viral and if they turn out to be true, this is the Kodak moment for the tech companies.


  • OB

    This article reeks of elitism. Most Stanford students enjoy a very privileged upbringing – not all but most. This shows how detached that segment of the population has become with your average American. They are detached economically and socially from “average” Americans. The fact that they compare Trump to Adolph Hitler is laughable. Also the “Tuck Frump” shirts show a lack of class and intolerance. I am a Stanford alumni and am disgraced to see young immature students act like this but, hey, I guess they’re 18 year old kids…….

    I went to Stanford and was a Republican. I was constantly bullied by professors and dorm RA’s with political correctness intimidation if I didn’t adhere to every liberal principal they professed. In my opinion, not very tolerant or open minded people.

    The other thing I find disgusting in this article is they point out Trump’s shortcomings but not a word about Hillary. They are lamenting a Trump victory. This is bias expected in the media. The least that they could do is present Trump’s economic message of hope that appealed to people who don’t come from as privileged families.

  • P Donohue

    “You’re an idiot, plain and simple.”
    What an intelligent, witty comeback. I bet that took quite a bit of thought on your part.

  • P Donohue

    “They are detached economically and socially from “average” Americans.” This is true and must always be, because average can’t get in to Stanford. It is designed that way.

    Given you are a Stanford Alum, my guess is that you currently are too, with the exception of Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you might visit relatives, or if you serve in the military.

  • Herman47 .

    Isn’t that right, George?