On November 7, the world watched as Joe Biden emerged as President-elect in his bid to become the 46th president of the United States of America. American STU students, based both in Canada and the US, anxiously awaited these results and kept their eyes on the media to monitor what was happening in their home country.
For Garrett Moore, a fourth-year student from Vermont, this year’s election was a historic and passionate one.
“Honestly, I loved it. I think this past week has been historic, it shows so much interest in the future, and it’s hopeful to see people so interested in the election,” said Moore.
Moore comes from a quiet place, with the majority of residents being seniors, and hasn’t heard of much chaos happening in his hometown. Although, he has seen violence in other states through the media.
“Trump can make you feel so passionate, whether it’s for or against him,” explained Moore.
Many American students sent their ballots by mail and were excited to be able to finally vote for their future.
Rachel Smith, a third-year student from New Hampshire, was excited to vote but shocked by the close results.
“It’s sad to see how close it was, how can that be that around 50 per cent of Americans voted for Trump?” questioned Smith. “I remember when Trump was elected the first time in 2016, going to school after that was horrible because it was very obvious who stood where.”
She is now very excited to see that the candidate she voted for has been elected, along with her family, who she’s been staying in close contact with while in Fredericton.
While many students were able to cast their vote through the mail, others faced challenges which impeded their ability to vote. Sofia Paura, a fourth-year UNB student, moved to Florida with her family in 2018. They are permanent residents, but are not citizens, which means that they are unable to cast a vote. Paura found herself anxious as she waited for the results.
“If I could have, I would have voted for Biden because my personal views align more with those of the Democrats than they do with Republicans,” said Paura. “It was very stressful, and I was so anxious. I think I checked Google at least ten times a day just to see if any states had changed and to see if any news was posted, which isn’t like me.”
The four-day wait left Paura wondering if Trump would be selected for a second term, and she began to fear for her future.
“I would think, how is this going to affect people like me, people who are not citizens, what if Trump decides that he doesn’t want us here anymore. It was stressful to have to deal with the uncertainty,” Paura explained.
Although the wait has come to an end, the students know this election is far from over. Biden will be sworn in on January 20, 2021, and they fear the changes that may come in Trump’s last two months in office.
“I believe there is going to be quite a number of rallies and protests. How dangerous they become is anyone’s guess, they were incredibly dangerous before with two heavily polarized sides of the political spectrum going at it. I don’t think the president is going to go quietly into this good night,” said Moore.