UConn students react to the 2020 presidential election

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks blows a kiss to supporters Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Last week, University of Connecticut students reacted to President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election with a variety of emotions, including both excitement and relief.  

Biden defeated President Donald Trump with a decisive 290 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 214 votes, according to the Associated Press on Saturday. The election was not decided until Saturday due to high voter turnout and a high volume of mail-in ballots.  

Thendral Nagarajan, a third-semester student majoring in biological sciences, was excited that Biden had won the presidency, but was concerned Trump received the amount of votes that he did.  

“I’m super happy that Joe Biden won the election, however, I was surprised about how many states on the map ended up being red,” Nagarajan said. “I’m ecstatic that Joe Biden won but am disappointed in the country because of how close the counts were.”  

Nagarajan was also disappointed in Trump’s response to Biden’s victory, since Trump has yet to concede the election and has baselessly claimed the election was riddled with fraudulent ballots.  

“Now that Biden has won, Trump is being a sore loser and a ‘man child’ by throwing tantrums and isn’t being respectful and supportive of Biden,” Nagarajan said.  

UConn College Republicans President Thomas Heuschkel encouraged his fellow Republicans to respond to the results with dialogue and peaceful protest, and discouraged rioting.  

A supporter of President-elect Joe Biden holds up his mobile phone to display the electoral college map outside the Philadelphia Convention Center after the 2020 Presidential Election is called, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

“Unless deemed otherwise by the court of law, all votes matter and should be counted appropriately,” Heuschkel said in a release. “The sanctity and integrity of our republic depends on it. As Americans, we must respect and uphold the will of the people even when it is not in our favor.”  

Nicholas Juricic, a seventh-semester math major, said that this was the most “riveting” election he’s seen.  

“It went on for days, and actually there are still people who think it’s not over,” Juricic said in an email. “I don’t really blame them although I don’t particularly agree with them either.”  

While he questioned the legitimacy of this election, he said Trump’s reaction to his defeat has been “disgraceful, not really as a world leader or anything but simply as a person.”  

Adriana Alvez, a senior majoring in political science, felt a great sense of relief that Biden had won the presidency that will bring Donald Trump’s administration out of office after four long years.  

“Donald Trump, his ideology and his administration brought so much violence and harm to our entire country,” Alvez said. “We couldn’t go on with him as president for another four years. Joe Biden is a sigh of relief. He is a man of character, honor and integrity, everything Trump is not.”  

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Alvez celebrates this victory but acknowledges the fight is not over yet. While the election has been called, Trump continues to challenge the outcome of the election and its integrity reminding Alvez that her activism in this election must strongly continue.  

“We can’t stop our organizing and our activism just because we won,” Alvez said. “We have to keep fighting, always. I am beyond elated that I can call Joe Biden and Kamala Harris president and vice president-elect!” 

Lena Verard, a senior double majoring in French and biology, is overjoyed that Biden had won the presidency, but is left feeling anguished over the number of people that did vote for Trump despite him losing the election.  

“It has been really stressful watching this election while also having to study for exams,” Verard said. “Watching people I know vote for Trump made me realize how much hatred there is in our world for people to side with racism, homophobia and bigotry.” 

Verard is reassured there is hope for the country now that Biden is elected as president. Verard believes this win will start the recovery process for the nation when Biden begins his term as president.  

“Biden winning the presidency has restored my faith in humanity,” Verard said. “I feel like we can only go up from here once his term as president of the United States begins.” 

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