Election Night

Photo: Chatham students prepare to settle in for a long night at the Carriage House for the Election Watch Party.
Photo Credit: Kaylee Spitak

Author: Ross Hsu

Donald J. Trump won the United States presidential election early Wednesday morning, following a much closer race than news outlets and pollsters predicted. Shortly into Tuesday night, much of Hillary Clinton’s “firewall,” swing states that the democrat’s campaign expected to win, were won by Trump, widening Trump’s path and narrowing hers.

People are protesting in cities across the nation, with thousands taking to the streets to demonstrate against the election of a man who has made countless racist, bigoted and misogynistic comments throughout his campaign.

At Chatham University, the mood at the Carriage House watch party changed from excited to tense as the race became closer and closer. Cheers followed confirmation of Clinton wins, but boos for Donald Trump became stunned silences as the possibility of a Trump win set in.

Jenna McGreevy, a sophomore and the president of Chatham’s College Democrats, explained that she was worried but not surprised. “I was suspicious of lots of the polls,” she said. “The demo Trump tapped into don’t interact or vocalize…they are a silent majority. I’m surprised the media didn’t expect it.”

Still, McGreevy was hopeful. “I’m hoping there are more uncounted votes who love America and are better than hatred,” she said as Clinton’s chances slimmed.

As Tuesday night wore on, words like “bleak,” “difficult” and “narrow” were used on election night broadcasts to describe Clinton’s path to 270 electoral college votes. Most panel discussions on the major news networks spent the night discussing their astonishment at the repudiation of polls and predictions for a Clinton win. Articles and news pieces are continuing to analyze the media’s failure. Many journalists and analysts are pointing to voters who claimed they were undecided or voting for third party candidates that ended up voting for Trump. This phenomenon has been called the Shy Tory Factor, in which polled voters are embarrassed or reluctant to report their support for a disliked candidate.

Teri Bradford, a junior and the president of Chatham Student Government, was stunned by the surprise results, lamenting the logic of Trump voters who dislike both candidates. “If you’re choosing between two things you don’t want, why would you choose the one that’s absolutely awful?” she asked. “I just don’t understand.”

Chatham’s home state of Pennsylvania ended up being a closer race than it has been since 1988, a surprise that defies its reputation as a swing state that has voted democrat in the last six elections, but also as a key part of Clinton’s supposed blue wall which all but fell apart Tuesday night. The last time PA voted Republican was 1988.

Post-election analysis shows that Trump won the state mainly through rural turnout in the southwestern precincts, and a lower urban democratic turnout than expected. Trump won many areas by a wider margin than President Obama had in the same regions.

Sophomore Sophie Kerensky was worried about the future as the race narrowed. “I’m just in shock,” the Social Work major said. “Regardless of the outcome, this is dangerous.”

Clinton, Trump and President Obama all spoke Wednesday in a succession of statements responding to the results.

Clinton called her loss “painful,” but urged supporters to accept the result of the election. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” she said. Obama echoed her call for unity, saying that “we are all on the same team.” The president said he was heartened by his early morning call with Trump.

Even Donald Trump laid down his divisive rhetoric in his victory speech. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”

As the final states were called early Wednesday morning, the mood in the Carriage House was stunned and abysmal. Maryem Aslam, a Senior Biology major, shared the same reaction as many others at Chatham. “A part of my is still hoping new votes will be counted, or something will change,” she said. “I just never expected this.”

OPINION: Donald Trump gave me back my dignity.

Photo: Matt A.J. through WhoWhatWhy Candidates
: Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman


I know, an odd proclamation, right? Hang in there with me, though, because there is a story here.


For me, politics has been my whole life, well, my whole life. I began attempting to sway voters to see my point of view at the grocery store with my mom when I was three years old. Later, at age four, I briefly refused to accept the results of the 1980 election when my candidate lost his presidential bid, emphatically telling everyone I met: “Ronald Reagan is not my president.”

Contine reading

Chatham Students Agree that JASTA is Unreasonable

Madeline Canning (left) and Charlie Kelly (right) share their opinions on JASTA
Photo: Kaylee Spitak

Author: Kaylee Spitak

On September 28, 2016, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was passed by Congress in order to narrow the legal doctrine of immunity for foreign sovereignties. However, the passage of this law also enables families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government for the event.

Contine reading

Feature: Chatham Conservative Students Weigh In On Their Minority Voice

Author: Jamie Wiggan

It will not come as news for any reader to hear that Chatham both identifies and is identified as a predominantly liberal school. From its founding in 1869 as one of the first colleges in the country to offer college education to women, right up to current developments at Eden Hall—the first campus in the world dedicated solely to the field of sustainability—Chatham’s 147 years have consistently modeled progress on social issues.  Some may be tempted to make sweeping generalizations about the student body, squashing individuals into neat labels: liberal, progressive, modern.

Contine reading

Going Global: German politician stabbed during campaign rally

Anti-foreigner motives prompted the stabbing of 58-year-old German politician Henriette Reker during a campaign rally for Mayor of Cologne on Saturday, October 17. One other woman was seriously wounded in the attack, and three other individuals sustained minor injuries.

After sustaining stab wounds to the neck Reker, an independent candidate supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. She is currently in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect, a 44-year-old German national, is believed to have acted alone, and later admitted to targeting Reker due to her pro-refugee efforts. A recent psychiatric exam has concluded that he can and will be held criminally responsible for the attack on the politician.

Reker currently heads Cologne’s social affairs and integration department, where she is responsible for setting up refugee housing around the city, and has been a strong proponent for the accepting and housing refugees throughout the migrant crisis.

This incident has highlighted growing concerns about the German population’s response to the massive influx of refugees, particularly in regards to cases of hateful and violent actions. Germany, which has accepted more refugees than any other European nation, is expected to take in upwards of 1.5 million people by the end of this year.  

Though most German are welcoming to the displaced populations, there have been isolated incidents of anti-refugee vandalism (including graffiti and arson) and violence throughout the nation, specifically targeting refugee shelters.

In a statement on the stabbing, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, “This cowardly attack in Cologne is further evidence of the increasing radicalization of the refugee debate.”

Despite her condition, Reker went on to win the Mayoral election in Cologne — Germany’s fourth biggest city — on Sunday, October 18.

Keep calm and cast a recall

What? What’s that you say? A bunch of rich white jerks have been elected to Congress again? Hah. Don’t scare me like that. I thought you meant something catastrophic had happened!

Yes, another election day has come and gone. The world is still turning, the American government has not collapsed into all-out anarchy, and the Congress still has a white male majority. The only difference is that most of them are Republican now instead of closer to an even split.

It. Is. Not. The. End.

Stop panicking. A Republican-controlled Senate is not the end of the world. The American government has failsafes built in to make sure the government doesn’t collapse from the little things like Republicans being in charge. And, yes, that applies to the Democrats as well. They are not saints either.

If there is one thing to be learned from sitting through mind-numbingly dull lectures on how the American government works, it is that you eventually take away one shining little fact: the recall election is a glorious invention and exists for a reason.

The recall election is a wonderful part of the American election process, and is the only one that is not used as much as it should be. In essence, the recall allows voters who are dissatisfied with elected officials–for example, officials who aren’t doing their job or are not in line with the will of the people in the case of the Republican Senate, as seems to be the case–to remove them from office before their term is ended.

The recall begins when a sufficient number of voters have signed a petition calling for the official they elected to be removed from office. A sufficient number of voters is defined by the American government as at least 10 percent of voters from the previous election, although the actual figures vary from state to state.

While a Republican-controlled Senate may prove to be a disaster, there is no reason to believe that it will be any worse than a Democrat-controlled Senate or even a bipartisan Senate.

For those who are convinced that a Republican-controlled Senate will always be the worst thing ever, American history has proved that a single party controlling the Senate and/or the House will not make the government collapse. Over the past 100 years, the Republicans have had a majority in the Senate for roughly 34 years total.

The Democrats have had a majority for a rough total of 66 years. In the greater scheme of things, the Republicans have had majority control of the US House and Senate for far less total time than the Democrats have had–26 years in rough total compared to the Democrats’ rough total control of a cumulative 60 years, with an even 14 of bipartisan control.

The US government has survived for over 150 years. Two years of a conservative-controlled government will not make much of a difference. Yes, the Republicans are obstructionist and irritating and make a lot of really poor choices–the majority of which make people hate them, although usually for a good reason–but they have not managed to destroy the country yet.

Elections come and go. Politicians get elected. Life goes on.

And if the politicians are terrible, there is always the recall.

By the people, for the people: CSG weekly update

The Chatham Student Government (CSG) meeting on Thursday, September 25 began with a discussion of the coeducation transition from Zauyah Waite, CSG Advisor and Chatham University Dean of Students.

Waite asked that students offer feedback throughout the transition process. “I think it’s a learning experience as we move forward with the restructuring…be patient, but also speak up to constructively help the university,” she said.

She also urged students to be kind to each other because this is the time of year when many “student issues begin popping up.”

Stephanie Reynolds, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residence Life, then took the floor to remind students that Battle of the Classes (BOTC) starts Sunday, September 28. To clarify some points of confusion, she noted that, while classes are technically determined by credits, students are free to participate in the class with which they feel they best identify.

Officer’s reports followed, during which Jenny Schollaert, Executive Vice President of CSG, reminded students that the next Student Organizations Forum meeting will occur online on October 7.

Sam Elbaz, Vice President of Finance, gave a recap of the last Undergraduate Budget Committee (UBC) meeting, saying that, between the Beyond the Page Book Club, and This is Me, $300 were requested and granted, leaving $11,742 in the budget for the rest of the semester.

In regards to new business items, Sarah Jugovic, Executive President of CSG, brought up the possibility of the revising the constitution so that it uses more inclusive language. She discussed the possibility of forming a committee to research how other institution’s governments are run.

Erin Smith, Vice President of Communications, supported this idea, saying, “I definitely think it’s necessary. Starting with the research and having a conversation prepared will be really helpful.”

By far the most contentious topic of discussion at the meeting was that of the Chatham shuttles.

The subject of the shuttles is a hot topic around campus, and students constantly recount stories of being stranded in various locations without being able to contact the shuttle drivers.

Members of the CSG proposed several ideas to combat this dilemma, but all agreed that the first order of business is research on why people choose to either ride or not ride the shuttle.

In response to this Chloe Bell, Class of 2016 representative said, “when they cut the shuttle hours, people stopped riding it, because they were bitter.”

The Senate also discussed ideas on how to collect data ranging from petitions and tabling to an online survey, though they did not make a decision.

Though the CSG has a lot of work to do before implementing any changes, some ideas for possible action include a cutback on weekend daytime hours to increase nighttime hours, a shift of the shuttle system to more of a safe rider option on the weekends, and the creation of a student position as a van driver.

In open forum business, Alex Waasdorp, Class of 2018 President, mentioned that she contacted Pattie Malloy about the creation of a button on MyChatham for students to check their account balances, but had not yet received a response from her.

CSG meetings occur every Thursday at either 7:15 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and are open to the student body.