John Jay Faculty and Students React to the 2020 Election Results

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Leanna Wells, Editor

John Jay faculty and students expressed a range of feelings following the election results.

On November 7th, at 11:25am EST, The Associated Press called Joe Biden as the winner of Pennsylvania, giving him the necessary electoral votes to win.

Biden was named the President Elect of the United States, alongside his running mate Kamala Harris. 

Harris will make history as the first woman and woman of color to be elected as Vice President.

“The biggest thing that will define Biden and his administration will be recovery from the pandemic and restoration of the economy,” said Brian Arbour, a member of the Decision Desk at Fox News and Associate Professor of Political Science at John Jay.

James Van Bramer said he also believes that the pandemic and the economy are a priority for the administration.

“You can’t handle the economy if the virus still exists because you can’t run things at full capacity. It’s handling the pandemic first by slowly bringing the economy back,” said Bramer, a Junior and Political Science major at John Jay.

During the campaign and debates, the focus has been on gaining control of COVID-19 and the future of the economy. It has been 10 months since the virus was discovered and 8 months since it was declared a pandemic. 

Cases in the U.S. have surpassed 10 million and the death toll is over 243,000.

The coronavirus pandemic will be one of the biggest issues facing President-Elect Biden, as well as the racial justice movement.

In the days before the results were announced, several states were too close and too early to call, leaving the electoral votes divisive.

President Trump still received 214 Electoral College votes, which disappointed some in the John Jay Community.

“When I saw the numbers playing out like that, I couldn’t help but think that current day America is as racist as America was in the 1900s and 400 years ago. And that’s extremely disappointing to me. Why is the race this close?” said DeCarlos Hines, President of The Black Student Union at John Jay. 

Gilianne Oyola said she was also saddened by how close the number of electoral votes were between the candidates.

“It breaks my heart, that people would continue to vote for him and not really understand the context of everything he has done,” said Oyola, President of the Latin American Student Organization.

While the next 4 years are uncertain, people in the John Jay Community want to see change. 

“I want to see actual reform. I don’t want to see Band-Aids and duct tape. I want to see things being solved in so many other communities. And I hope with Kamala by his side, that will happen,” said Oyola.

DeCarlos Hines said change does not happen immediately but this President will be different.

“I know that when Biden gets in there, it’s not going to change overnight. Biden cannot change the way people feel. But to have a President that is not adding fuel to the fire, that goes a long way,” said Hines.

Biden and Harris made a victory speech Saturday evening thanking the American people for their choice and vote of confidence. 

On January 20th, 2021, Biden and Harris will take an oath of office with Harris being sworn in first and Biden being sworn in at noon.