Election Day turned into election week, creating days of anxiety for many Americans. From constantly refreshing the electoral collage map on Google to having eyes glued to CNN and the Magic Wall, everyone was eagerly anticipating the results.
After four days of uncertainty, the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign won the election, giving many a feeling of hope.
IU students Rianne Henderson, Ciera Howleit, Jemore Simpson, Parker Stiles and Daniel Akinniranye said they would like to see a significant amount of change from the new administration.
The group's immediate reaction to Biden and Harris winning was a mix relief, skepticism, fear and excitement.
“I felt relieved,” Henderson said. “I think that getting an individual who, in my opinion, embodied pure hatred out of office was extremely comforting.”
A wave of relief and excitement came over her as she realized the new vice president is a woman of color. She believes this representation is important and will inspire young girls to be anything they want to be.
“I was never really a fan of our choices of candidates,” Simpson said. “But I understood how dangerous it would have been to the American citizens if Trump was reelected. I was more excited to see Trump lose the election rather than be excited that Joe and Kamala won.”
Simpson said he believes both Biden and Harris do poor jobs of supporting minorities. He now understands this election was a game of chess rather than checkers.
Akinniranye's feelings toward the new party stems from a feeling of enthusiasm rather than skeptisism.
“I’m really excited to see a woman become vice president of this nation of hope,” Akinniranye said. “It shows that anything can be done.”
Prior to the win, the intensity of emotions were overwhelming. The group expressed this election was heavy and their eyes were opened up to the reality of the world we live in.
“I remember watching on election night and it made me pretty uncomfortable how close the race was,” Henderson said. “At some point I just had to go to bed because I couldn’t take watching it anymore. The following few days, I definitely felt a little on edge.”
During this days surrounding the election, many students took a mental break because of the stress and uncertainty.
“All the pain and agony within these past four years is something that no one would want to go through again,” Howleit said. “I believe that with the recent win, this country will start to see better days.”
Throughout this election, Howleit was fearful President Donald Trump would be reelected.
Each individual recognized racism was a significant part of Trump's presidency. He made white supremacists feel powerful and in control.
Simpson said this election was an eye opener and it was disturbing to see racism openly displayed. It made him realize how important it is to pay attention to those we are trusting with our best interest and policies that are painted gold for some but have hidden agendas for others.
Each individual of this group has specific actions they’d like to see Biden and Harris establish.
Henderson said she would like to see the administration unify and not divide society. She wants them to restore hope from a difficult year, while controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Howleit said she wants to see the party reform the various police departments. She would also like to see various demonstrations gain the right to protest peacefully. She wants a decrease in the amount of taxes poor and middle class people have to pay and believes America should welcome all immigrants.
Stiles wants to see a raise in corporate taxes, capital gains taxes and foreign subsidiary taxes.
Health care is another significant area students would like to see addressed adequately in the next administration.
Akinniranye said he would like Biden and Harris to produce stronger policies concerning the pandemic. He is also looking forward to how they will approach rooting out systemic racism from institutions.
These individuals hope Biden and Harris can bring on major change in America. They want to see restoration, security and a sense of community rectified in our nation.
“I hope over the next four years the racial awareness, conversations and progress we have had throughout this year continues among the general population,” Stiles said. “Therefore, we can grow as a country and elect an even better administration for 2024.”
After four years of Trump, they have faith change will be made in America.
“I’m hoping that our value continues to be seen as we continue our fight for equality, safety and to show that we matter,” Henderson said. “For the next few weeks I do think we are allowed to celebrate and let out a sigh of relief. It’s one good thing to have come out of this year.”