Hannah Steyn, Special Assignments Reporter
With election stress running high on Election Night, the general vibe on the Utica College campus was apprehensive. Students were not only concerned with the results, but also with how both sides might react.
Earlier in the day, some professors urged students in their Tuesday classes who needed to vote to leave classes if necessary, in order to do so. Students sported their “I Voted” stickers and encouraged their peers to exercise their rights to vote.
Senior Audra Williams admitted that going into Election Day, she was nervous. However, being able to watch as results came in helped calm her nerves.
Senior and Student Government Association President Peter Gaughan said, “I am always anxious about elections and this one is no different, so while there is reason to be optimistic, tonight is still high stakes, and the stress is palatable.”
Going into the evening, Williams didn’t have anything solid predicted.
“Since this election was different from others in terms of voting, I didn’t really have any predictions,” she said. “Whoever wins it’s going to be a big deal for the country, but I couldn’t say who that is going to be,” Williams says.
Gaughan predicted that Democrats will keep the House of Representatives and reduce the gap in the Senate , but probably not flip it.
“I also anticipate that the president might end the night in the lead from in-person Election Day voting but after mail-in votes are all accounted for the former Vice-President will take back the White House,” he said.
After watching some of the returns, Gaughan’s views changed slightly.
“I was hoping for a fairly large margin of victory, at this point in the night I am still confident in Biden’s ability but I think the margin is going to be slim,” he said.
Williams expressed concern over reactions following the election.
“I just worry that whoever wins, people on the opposite side will respond with anger that their favored candidate didn’t win,” she said.
Campus Safety, however, has had no reason to anticipate any negative outbreaks on campus, as well as other local law enforcement. Despite not anticipating any outcry, local agencies still have heightened awareness should anything happen, in spite of the fact that the final results of the presidential election may not be released for some time.
Student Living and College Engagement hosted three separate Zoom viewing parties for students to attend, but there was very low engagement within them. However, Utica College’s Political Science Department hosted its own Zoom watch party, which had higher attendance and participation.
“I wish more students stepped into these political conversations because it’s their future, their nation’s rule of law, their health, and their livelihood on the ballot,” Gaughan said.