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UNH Law students tune in after Trump win

  • Graduate student Sruthi Srinivasan, 26, of India watches Hillary Clinton’s speech the morning after Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. Srinivasan is not a United States citizen, but said, “It’s a consequential election for Indians as well.” ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Jane Vuckmer, 26, talks about the presidential election results at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord the morning after Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Passers-by stop to watch Hillary Clinton's speech the morning after she lost the presidential election to Donald Trump at University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Passers-by stop to watch Hillary Clinton's speech the morning after she lost the presidential election to Donald Trump at University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Thursday, November 10, 2016

It was almost lunchtime on Wednesday, and University of New Hampshire School of Law students had started to make their way to the cafeteria. Some coalesced around a flat-screen television to hear Hillary Clinton’s concession speech.

Some watched the broadcast with tears in their eyes, others unwrapped sandwiches and talked about the surprise end to a bitter election: Republican Donald Trump defying the odds and capturing the electoral votes needed to become President-elect Trump.

Students talked in low voices. Some joked about leaving the country, others expressed doubt that the election would actually have a tangible effect on their lives.

On screen, Clinton thanked her staff for their many months of work and effort.

She also had a pointed message to women and girls watching the election: the fight to put a woman in the White House is far from over.

“To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me,” she said, “I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

Students Jane Vuckmer and Audriana Mekula-Hanson said they were not feeling good about the election results when they went to bed in the early hours of Wednesday.

Though the race hadn’t yet been called, swing states were already rolling in for Trump. The students’ fears were confirmed when they woke up.

Vuckmer said she was feeling “deflated and a bit confused” on Wednesday.

“Completely shocked,” she said. “It sort of made me question, too, I may be out of touch with a lot of people in this country.”

Vuckmer is originally from Virginia, but is now a New Hampshire resident. She voted for Clinton on Tuesday in the Granite State; Virginia and New Hampshire were two of the swing states that went blue for Clinton.

Mekula-Hanson said she had a lot of concerns with a Trump presidency, including how student loan rates would be affected and how immigration could be changed.

She and another friend teach a citizenship class to immigrants who have lived in the United States for three to five years, and Mekula-Hanson said she was worried a Trump presidency would affect the ability of some immigrants to move to and stay in the United States.

“They haven’t been very outspoken about Trump” yet, she said.

The significance of coming so close to having a female president was not lost on either woman.

“I was incredibly moved casting my ballot yesterday, more so than I thought I would be,” Vuckmer said.

Mekula-Hanson said she was trying to decide whether to vote for Clinton or Green Party candidate Jill Stein up until she got into the voting booth. She cast her ballot for Clinton, but said she appreciated having another female candidate.

“This is just one step closer for women,” she said.

Clinton also nodded to that future in her concession speech.

“I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but I know someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now,” she said.

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, enilsen@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)