Election Results Sparks Discussion on Campus

By Alyssa Velazquez, Staff Writer

After 18 longs months of campaigning, election season is finally over. But some students and faculty of Manhattan College still have questions, especially considered how President-elect Donald Trump won in the first place.

Many people are still surprised and perhaps confused by the results of the 2016 election. Many citizens thought the president-elect would be Hillary Clinton, even polls were ranking her chances of being elected, higher than Donald Trump. Luckily to answer the questions and concerns of students and faculty, Harry Enten was invited to the College on Nov. 16.

Enten, otherwise known as Whiz Kid, works at FiveThirtyEight.com, a polling website that takes the usually hard to follow statistics from events such as the election and utilizes them to inform the public on what could happen.

Despite the tension at the College being so high even after an entire week of the election occurring, Enten was able to help create an environment where people can discuss their concerns no matter who they supported. Nicole Mathias, a senior who contributed to the planning and running of this event, saw this as an opportunity for the community to talk about politics in a civil manner.

“I was excited about this event because it wasn’t about people arguing about political issues, it was about someone who knows the polls and the facts coming to explain to us what happened” Mathias said.

This event mainly served as opportunity to hear someone with “opinions that people can question and learn from” and to also “start something new” as Mathias puts it. She continues by stating “whichever way this election went, there were going to be a lot of people upset. I think this could be the start of a conversation that continues in the campus and talk about politics based on facts.”

Enten provided the audience with facts and information on past elections in comparison to the election of 2016, as well as answered question that both students and faculty had on their mind. Georgette Thomas, a senior who attended the event said, “He [Enten] is definitely really intelligent and just pointed out how important the statistics really are.”

Enten was also able to give factors that contributed to the results of this year’s election, however he explains that in politics it is difficult to find one answer as to what actually happened. He states that people must “recognize that conventional wisdom itself is normally not exactly right, there is usually not one right answer as to why people win and lose. Sometimes it really is just about the want for a change and just the want to move on from what we had.”

Even weeks after the results of the election people across the College and even the nation are still surprised because mathematically Donald Trump had a very small chance of winning when compared to Hillary Clinton’s chance of winning. Enten was even shocked by the way Trump climbed the polls.

On Tuesday night when Enten had the realization that Trump could be the president-elect he explains that “it was a real wake up moment for me… I think people were shocked, because it is one thing to recognize something as a mathematical possibility and another thing to internalize it as an actual possibility.”

Being that we now hear and see the words President-Elect being associated with Donald Trump practically everywhere in the media, the opportunity to question and learn from people such as Harry Enten is valuable. Events such as this one help provide an environment where people at the College can discuss politics with others without the fear of getting into a dispute about different values political parties hold.

Stephen Zubrycky contributed on reporting