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Here’s what 16 Stanford students are thinking after Election Day

By and

To learn more about the student community’s reactions to the spread of coronavirus, The Daily interviewed students around the world over the course of Wednesday afternoon (Stanford time). Stanford students were captivated by the trickle of presidential election results for the race between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. Anxiety mixed with cautious optimism followed them from professors’ election-specific office hours to on-campus household watch parties to chores and schoolwork interrupted by notifications.

All times are in PT. All photos are by courtesy of the students interviewed.

10:31 a.m. — AP calls Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for Trump; Biden wins the statewide vote

11:07 a.m. — Audrey Isabel Pe ’24 from Manila, Philippines; currently on campus

“The U.S. election process varies so much from what we have back in the Philippines. While educating myself on the system, I’m also trying to manage my stress about what each result could look like for my life and those of other international students living in the U.S. Will I be able to go home in the coming years without fear of not being let back into the U.S.? Will I still be welcome in this country after graduation?”

11:13 a.m. — Oliver Szavuj ’25 from Bucharest, Romania

“I stayed up most of last night. I remember the past election, how at the time I really didn’t understand what was going on — I was very confused and frustrated when I realized that Hillary, who had the majority of the vote, lost. Beyond the headache that not sleeping gave me, I had a roller-coaster of emotions and adrenaline throughout the day, shifting between “I think Trump will win” and “I think Biden will win.” I’ve been thinking about the potential protests that might happen if Biden does win, and I’m pretty anxious and a bit concerned about the fallout that a recount in Wisconsin might bring. I’ve been talking a lot to my friends in the U.S., and they were much calmer, so that helped a lot.”

11:16 a.m. — AP calls Wisconsin for Biden

11:19 a.m. — Kevin Thor ’24 from Fresno, California; currently on campus

“I’m watching the elections… somewhat closely? I’ve been checking the progress on The New York Times as well as on Twitter. As of now, the most recent development I’m aware of is that Wisconsin has turned blue! I went to sleep last night unsure of what will happen and woke up feeling the same, but after talking with friends and seeing that Wisconsin has turned blue, I feel more hopeful.”

11:37 a.m. — Kyle Lambert ’24 from Jamaica; currently on campus

“With my campus household, I’ve been watching the live polls closely since yesterday.

As a community organizer, I recognize the responsibility to my communities I will still have regardless of the election’s outcome. Unfortunately, poverty does not end here. Homelessness does not end here. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia do not end here. If anything, I am eager to get the election behind us so that we can focus on alleviating these issues the right way — by focusing on the people actually facing them and not two cisgendered, heterosexual white men.”

11:39 a.m. — Nalani Cisely Santos ’24 from Ontario, California

“I am intensely following the elections as I went to sleep checking in on swing states following my all-day check-ins to search for further updates. I’ve barely been paying attention to classes because of the anxiety I’m experiencing. When I went driving, I kind of stopped thinking about it because I had other things to focus on, so that was nice, but I’ve mainly just been feeling really stressed and scared this entire day.”

11:55 a.m. — Maliha Yousuf ’24 from Lake Forest, Illinois

“Last night I went to bed feeling a bit defeated, but Joe Biden’s speech gave me hope and uplifted me. But I still feel anxious, there is no guarantee for anyone. It is also a bit disheartening to see this be such a close race. It tells you a lot about polarization in the country and how important it is for the next president to not alienate people, but to bring them together.”

12:02 p.m. — Jaden Morgan ’24 from Northern California

“I am keeping a very close eye on this election. I check various news sources for updates every hour and modify my own predictions on an electoral map. The Trump campaign has once again shattered the expectations of the polls. This is going to be a very close election with weeks of ensuing legal battles. America will have to be patient as we watch this consequential election play out.”

12:25 p.m. — Victor Cardenas ’23 from Caracas, Venezuela

“Last night, I stayed up watching my Twitter and Facebook feeds pretty late last night, but I feel like it was kind of a waste of time. It was pretty nice hopping on Mark Duggan’s four-hour office hours, though! I thought Trump was going to win and even bet money on it, but it really looks like Biden is going to win the election now. I also spent a lot of time cleaning up the house and trying to be productive.”

12:34 p.m. — Britney Tran ’24 from Colorado; currently on campus

“I’ve been watching the election pretty closely especially since last night. The unsureness makes me very anxious but I’m hoping to see more solidified results soon. It’s really difficult to focus on my classes and schoolwork considering that the outcome is going to affect us more than we can imagine.”

12:40 p.m. — Madyson Deale ’24 from New Mexico; currently on campus

“I am not following the elections super closely. I’ve never been crazy into politics, but I enjoy knowing what’s going on. I definitely keep checking the results every two minutes. Right now I’m feeling groovy. A little tired, but I’m thriving. I go through a huge range of emotions throughout my day. To me, it’s not a bad thing. The events throughout my days are just different and deserve different moods.”

12:46 p.m. — Trump campaign says it is suing to temporarily halt Pennsylvania, Michigan vote counts

1:00 p.m. — Camille Leihulu Slagle ’24 from O’ahu, Hawai’i

“To be honest, I am utterly terrified. I haven’t felt this stressed since college app season, and this election has stakes so much higher than that. As an Indigenous person with a uterus, I realize what’s at stake for me and so many other marginalized/BIPOC groups, and how the final results of this election will have drastic effects on the political climate of the country for the years to come.”

1:36 p.m. — Roman Scott ’25 from Texas

“This election is incredibly personal for my family and my community. There are a myriad of issues at stake in this election that directly pertain to the Black community, including mitigating systemic racism in America and promoting racial equity.”

1:40 p.m. — Nadine Fattah ’23 from Danville, California

“TVs have been on throughout my house these last two days, and I’ve been keeping up to date with statewide outcomes via social media and news updates. I also sat in for Mark Duggan and Steve Ballmer’s four-hour-long office hours to discuss the election as live updates rolled in — I am definitely on my toes about this year’s election outcome. This was the first election I had the opportunity to vote in, and I feel a lot more involved this year than I had in 2016. It’s a much different feeling to have participated in this election and then watch results unfold!”

1:43 p.m. — Thinzar Htwe ’24 from Baltimore, Maryland

“The amount of times I have refreshed the poll page is astronomical. To me, whatever happens happens, but I’m really hoping we have a true democratic election. I stood in line for hours on end to vote, and I truly hope my vote is accounted for honestly and accurately. I still am very invested but right now everything seems to be going by so slow. It’s got everyone on the edge of their seats. But again, I am very hopeful! This too shall pass but it’s taking quite a bit longer to pass.”

2:06 p.m. — Santiago Bustamante ’24 from Lima, Peru

“I have been checking my phone every five or 10 minutes to check for any new updates on the counting, trying to follow every single change in the process. I am very excited that the Democratic Party has a shot at winning the elections. They represent innovation, justice, respect, science, truth and most importantly, they will take a lead on the fight against climate change. I am optimistic that the outcome will be as expected — Biden winning.”

2:16 p.m. — Sarah Gao ’24 from San Jose, California

“I’m watching the election pretty closely. Ever since votes started coming in yesterday afternoon, I’ve been constantly checking the Associated Press’s electoral map. It’s pretty difficult to do homework and study for tests without getting distracted when the fate of our next four years is up in the air. The swing states’ numbers were constantly changing yesterday, so it was truly an exciting election to follow. I really hope the results of this election will be a testament to our American ideal of creating a more perfect union, and important steps in achieving a more perfect union include protecting minorities, curbing climate change and reducing income inequality. “

3:00 p.m. — AP calls Michigan for Joe Biden

Contact Anastasia Malenko at malenk0 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Tiffany Saade at tiff 24 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Magazine Editor, Summer Journalism Institute Co-Director
Anastasiia Malenko is the Vol. 260 Magazine Editor. Originally from Ukraine, she focuses on politics and international student life in her coverage. In her free time, she loves listening to throwbacks and catching up on book and coffee recommendations. Contact her at amalenko 'at' stanforddaily.com.
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Tiffany Saade is a staff writer in the news and The Grind sections. She is a freshman from Beirut, Lebanon and will probably major in Political Science in the Justice and Law main track with a double minor in International Relations and Human Rights with an interest in Creative Writing. She enjoys riding her yellow bike and singing out loud on Stanford campus! Contact her at thegrind 'at' stanforddaily.com for additional optimistic conversations about the future, and for some much needed light!