Southwest residents react to election

By Jackson Cote

Collegian File Photo
(Collegian File Photo)

Southwest Residents returned back to their dorms on election night after voting in their respective precincts, and while the majority of residents said that they had voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to be elected president, there still remained many who said they had cast their ballots differently.

Alyssa Sheer, Bella Boucher, and Haley Wayland are freshmen friends who live in Southwest. While Sheer and Wayland voted for Clinton, arguing that she aligns more with their Democratic values, Boucher voted for Republican Candidate Donald Trump.

“I know he seems kind of crazy, but I lean more conservative and Republican for a lot of issues, and I just couldn’t vote for Hillary,” Boucher said.

One of the issues that Boucher said she cares most about is abortion, where she believes Trump falls more in line with her opinions.

Not all residents fell into the Clinton-Trump voting category, though. There were a scattered few who chose to vote for third-party candidates.

Sophomores Tai Martire and Tim Jenis, for instance, voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Both sent in their absentee ballots just a few days ago.

Although Martire was raised in a Democratic household, he felt that his choice was a question of morality, believing that neither main-party candidate was suitable for the job.

“Some say it’s a waste of a vote, but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for the two main candidates,” stated Martire.

This diversity in political opinion is not a new occurrence for the Southwest residence area, however. At the beginning of this Fall semester, Washington Hall resident James Huston and his roommate hung up an approximately four-foot-wide banner promoting Donald Trump. The two sophomores hung it up in their window on the eighth floor of the residence hall, facing toward campus, visible to passerbys.

Huston and his roommate are both from New York and have been friends since they were two years old. Huston says that the idea to hang up the sign was both of theirs and that they did it mainly with the purpose of starting conversation.

“Me and my roommate, we’ll literally sit here, right on the futon, and watch people take pictures,” said Huston.

While the banner has been able to rile up a lot of conversation for Huston—especially within the fraternity he is pledging, which coincidentally has many Trump supporters already in it—he has received some flak for it.

And probably the most flak has come from his upstairs neighbors.

A few weeks after the banner was hung up, ninth-floor residents Lauren Welcome and Kristen Delcalzo decided to respond to Huston and his roommate’s sign. The two used adhesive tapes on their windows to form the words, “Don’t vote for that idiot,” with an arrow pointing from their window, down to Huston’s sign.

Welcome voted for Clinton, more so for the fact that she is against Trump, rather than for her candidate. She stated, “I don’t like that he demoralizes women every day.”

Similar to Huston though, Welcome’s political expression was motivated by the urge to start a conservation.

“We went up to my room and cut out the letters, put them on the wall, and fifteen minutes later we saw people taking out their phones for Snapchats—even still you’ll look out the window and see people looking up taking pictures,” recounted Welcome, “It was more in the name of fun than anything else—just sort of knowing that it would probably go viral.”

Huston stated that even if Trump loses he is still going to keep the sign up.

Welcome, meanwhile, is still thinking of her response.

“I think I could come up with something…maybe a victory sign. I’m pretty creative,” Welcome said.

Jackson Cote is a Collegian correspondent and can be reached at [email protected]