It has been a pretty stressful election season for many of us at the Mawr and beyond. Like me, you’ve probably been overexposed to media coverage of conversations and controversies surrounding the candidates. All of this culminated on Tuesday November 8th — election day. From back-to-back shuttles provided by Bryn Mawr College Civic Engagement to constant statistics updates and social media proof that so-and-so voted, the push to get out the vote, especially among college students, ran strong. Here’s how my election day went:
8:45AM: Woke up earlier than usual due to voting excitement.
9:15AM: Ate a well balanced breakfast in Erdman Dining Hall. Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, a glass of milk, an egg, and an apple.
9:45AM: Scootered to my polling location. Some of my other friends took the school provided shuttle or walked there. The polling location for Bryn Mawr college students using Bryn Mawr as residency is the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church — about 0.5 miles away from the college.
11:25AM-12:45PM: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics class. My professor wore a Nasty Women button in the design of the NASA logo.
1:00PM: Lunch with my friend Amy. Of course, discussing the election, campus engagement, and privilege.
2:00PM: Meeting with my Arts Office boss Angela Dowdy. The posters I designed for the upcoming theater production Eurydice (Nov. 11-13, 17-19) came, and I posted some around campus — of course with my scooter.
5:00PM: Boarded the R100 SEPTA to get to Chinese Christian Church.
6:00PM – 8:00PM: Volunteered to do nonpartisan voter protection and exit polling on behalf of the New York City based Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF). The nonprofit was collecting exit polling data to determine barriers Asian Americans faced at the polls and what percentage of self-reporting Asian Americans supported which candidate.
I found out about this opportunity through my friend Melody (who also reached out to me about volunteering with VietLead). When I got to the polling location, I was glad to also see my friends Melissa, Sunny, Keith, and Ki again. (I had also met them through Melody.) Part of the reason why I love volunteering in Philadelphia is because I get to meet other involved Asian Americans and directly help the community. After the polls closed at 8pm, the volunteers got bubble tea together and headed to The Field House to watch the election results. Melody and her dad also had the responsibility of tallying up the exit polling responses to send to AALDEF for the press releases.
9:00PM-12:00AM: We watched the elections results come in. It was a very tight race, and many of us sat in disbelief as state by state came in for Trump. Many swing states were still too close to call by midnight, but many of us were tired and defeated for the night. We parted ways on a sad note, but it would not be the last time we would see each other. The silver lining is that this election season was an easy way to get involved, and those of us who chose to get involved shall continue to volunteer and push forward.