By Lindsay Wigo
Nov. 8, 2016. Some say it was one of the best days of their lives, and some wish it never happened. This was the day that our newly-inaugurated president, Donald Trump, won the 2016 presidential election. Most people spent this day as they normally would, probably working, maybe at home or just doing normal day-to-day things. I, on the other hand, spent Nov. 8 scared to walk to school because of all the riots that were taking place. I looked out my New York City dorm window at Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) to see adults and students marching the streets protesting Trump’s win. Manhattan was rebelling, and I was in the center of it.
I remember walking into school and seeing students crying. I received emails saying school activities were cancelled because of the results of the elections. There was an odd feeling in every room and I felt like I was the odd man out—because I was an odd man out. I attended a very, very liberal school in Manhattan, so it was rare to find a Republican. I truly believe that only about one percent of the school held that title. The day was very interesting for me because I had to silently celebrate while everyone else was vocally grieving. It was overwhelming.
I saw people arguing and carrying protest posters as I walked 20-minutes along 3rd Avenue to get to school. There were multiple protest events going on that day, some literally outside of my window, only five stories beneath me. My roommate, another Republican, went home the day before to vote and was stuck at home an hour away. Her father was too afraid of the fights and protests that were breaking out on train rides in and around New York City to send her back. Trump Tower was also located two blocks from my residence hall, which made me feel even more anxious because people were surrounding that building all day long.
I remember waiting in the deli line in the café and hearing a professor thank the cafeteria ladies for coming to work today on “this very sad and heartbreaking day.” I was completely surprised that people were being congratulated for getting out of bed after the election. I don’t think that congratulations would have been said if the election outcome was different. If Clinton won, Republicans wouldn’t have spoken about their disappointment in school because nobody would have cared; they probably would have been scared of getting yelled at for being a Republican.
My former school even started a Facebook event a few days later called “MMC WalkOut to End White Supremacy.” The description of this event consisted of telling students and faculty to “sync up your watches and walk out of MMC as an act of civil unrest in the wake of hateful events.”
Directions stated that at 2 p.m., “If you’re in class, walk out. If you’re in the commons, walk out. If you’re just getting to school, do not go inside.” Students wanted to walk out of class, the classes that they were paying to attend.
Professors were even condoning this walkout. One professor posted on the event and said, “Any students in my 4 p.m. class, on Monday—please know that I fully support this walk-out. If you will be missing class, just send me an email to let me know. The absence will be excused.”
The drama didn’t stop after the walk-out; the drama is still going on today. There are protests and marches all over Manhattan, as well any many other big cities. This was the first election that I could vote in and it’s sure to be one that I’ll remember.