Over 100 members of the Cornell community reflected on the aftermath of the presidential election at a campus-wide Breaking Bread discussion Wednesday night.
Renee Alexander ’74, diversity officer from the Intercultural Programs Center for intercultural dialogues, called the election a valuable learning experience for young adults.
“I understand how political cycles swing — they ebb and flow,” she said. “I also understand … being idealistic and expecting a certain outcome and it not materializing, so there is a lot of anxiety in the air.”
Brian Hutchison, an administrative assistant in the department of natural resources, who voted for Clinton, explained that his vote was more anti-Trump than pro-Hillary. He said his vote was based on his relationships with “folks of other cultures, other identities, other orientations.”
“They’re friends and family of mine, and I felt that they were being attacked,” he said. “I couldn’t morally agree with somebody who would do that so openly.”
Beth Howland, the executive director for student services at the School of Hotel Administration, said she was in denial about the election results.
“I just did not believe that at the end of the day he would win, because that would mean that there was a significant percentage of people in this country that believed in things that I can’t wrap my brain around,” she said. “I was distraught last night and now I am trying to come to grips with what does this says about our country and how do we move forward.”
Stephie-Anne Duliepre grad explained that social media plays a key role in shaping people’s perspectives of voting intentions. People trust their news providers and believe that those sources offer “the truth,” often calling contradictory opinions “delusional.”
“You’re choosing your news [outlets] and things like Facebook … The things you ‘like’ are going to keep coming at you and you’re just like … in your own bubble,” Duliepre said.
Disappointed by the election outcomes, Sarah Balik grad said seeing Clinton run for president was originally a dream come true.
“I remember when I was six years old, my mom saying one day Hillary’s going to be the first woman president of the United States, and I really thought we were there,” she said sadly.
Hadar Sachs ’17, a facilitator, said she was pleased with the turnout and substantive discussion at the event.
“I’m happy to see that there are so many people here and interested, and it shows that there are people here that want to talk about what’s going on regardless of their political affiliations,” Sachs said.