Mood Check: Algonquin students react to the United States Presidential election

Over the past few weeks, your TV watching experience may have included hours upon hours of the same guy tapping on different states on his magic wall and telling you about counties you have never heard of before, and will never hear about again. The current President of the United States, Donald Trump, and the […]
Photo: Frankie Benvenuti & Alvin Tsang
Students and staff at Algonquin share their opinions about the U.S. election.

Over the past few weeks, your TV watching experience may have included hours upon hours of the same guy tapping on different states on his magic wall and telling you about counties you have never heard of before, and will never hear about again.

The current President of the United States, Donald Trump, and the former Vice President, Joe Biden have campaigned for months to see who would be sitting in the Oval Office on Jan. 20, 2021. Biden has been declared the President-elect and will be the 46th President of the United States. Trump meanwhile continues to search for any way possible to overturn the results of the election.

Some students and staff at Algonquin have opinions about this election — even though it isn’t Canadian. Two Algonquin Times reporters asked for their thoughts on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Here’s what they had to say.

Pinky Galhay (left) and Mukul Devang (right) are hopeful for what a Joe Biden presidency means for international students
Pinky Galhay (left) and Mukul Devang (right) are hopeful for what a Joe Biden presidency means for international students Photo credit: Alvin Tsang

Name: Mukul Devang

Program: hospitality – hotel and restaurant operations management

“I think Biden winning will be helpful for us in Canada because he is very good, and I think he will do something for both countries,” Devang said. “We as international students are hoping to get something new and beneficial to us. Everyone knows that Biden already won. Everyone liked Biden more than Trump. Trump made a difference between black people and white people. We don’t like those things. We don’t want any discrimination between different kinds of people.”

Name: Pinky Galhay

Program: hospitality – hotel and restaurant operations management

“Biden is good for both the U.S. and Canada because he doesn’t racially discriminate,” Galhay said. “What Trump has done is unfair to all people. Trump does not act in goodness for his country. Biden is better for the people.”

Photo credit: Alvin Tsang

Name: Sudhansu Patel

Program: heating refrigeration and air conditioning technician

“Of course Joe Biden won,” Patel said. “Donald Trump was always bragging about the development of the U.S. but we hardly saw any of it. They’re not doing well in the pandemic. The citizens are rebelling against their own country. There’s an economic crisis. The U.S. needs change. Joe Biden won because people hate Donald Trump. It’s not like Biden is a good leader, but people are hoping for better. If you look back at Donald Trump’s life, he always declared himself a winner. Every time someone knocks him down, he still calls himself a winner. Even when he’s a loser, he publicly declares himself a winner, and he’s not.”

Leslie Bader, a baking student, is a dual citizen who voted by mail-in ballot.
Leslie Bader, a baking student, is a dual citizen who voted by mail-in ballot. Photo credit: Alvin Tsang

Name: Leslie Bader

Program: baking and pastry arts

“I’m a dual citizen,” Bader said. “I voted for Biden by mail-in ballot. I’m glad the Democrats won and that we have our first female vice president in Kamala Harris. If claiming that the election was rigged was the only weird thing that Trump did in four years, I would think that there’s a basis for it. But no, this wasn’t surprising. Trump’s been off the wall this whole time. I heard that Twitter was blocking Trump now.”

Kiranjot Kaur Sandhu, a baking student, received concerned calls from her family in India on election night.
Kiranjot Kaur Sandhu, a baking student, received concerned calls from her family in India on election night. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: Kiranjot Kaur Sandhu

Program: baking and pastry arts

“I was getting calls from my family in India asking me who won the election that night,” Sandhu said. “Even though they’re in India, they were nervous about it. Everyone was. I wanted Biden to win because of the way Trump behaved. We all know about what he’s done, even in India. Biden won the votes. He didn’t cheat. When Trump loses, he reacts in a bad way. It’s hard for him to accept the loss. I definitely recognize Biden as the clear winner.”

Christina Charbonneau, a student in respiratory therapy, hopes for better international relationships going forward.
Christina Charbonneau, a student in respiratory therapy, hopes for better international relationships going forward. Photo credit: Alvin Tsang

Name: Christina Charbonneau

Program: respiratory therapy

“I think this is a good opportunity for international relationships to start repairing themselves,” Charbonneau said. “I think that despite Trump going on and on about the economy booming, he has no facts to back that up. All they do is distract from what the actual issues are. He doesn’t really support Black Lives Matter. A big portion of his supporters are thinking that he is doing so much for endangered children by opening up an FBI division for finding them but it’s all distractions from stuff like police brutality and white supremacy. Trump said that he was going to dispute it in 2016 when Hillary Clinton pointed it out at one of their debates. He planted that seed months ago by saying that mail-in voting is asking for a fraudulent election.”

J.P. Beaumont, a student in broadcast television, doesn't believe that there is a clear winner.
J.P. Beaumont, a student in broadcast television, doesn't believe that there is a clear winner. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: J.P. Beaumont

Program: broadcasting – television

“Going into it, I wanted Joe Biden to win the election,” Beaumont said. “Trump created a divide in the United States, and Biden is a way to fix that. I believe he can create calm in the country. I can’t say necessarily that there is a clear winner. There’s both evidence to support Trump’s case and evidence to support Biden’s case. I think there’s something to the Republican’s contesting it because some of the numbers don’t add up concerning registered voting and the number of votes that came in.”

Anthony Hawgood, a student in welding and fabrication techniques, believes that the world is behind Biden.
Anthony Hawgood, a student in welding and fabrication techniques, believes that the world is behind Biden. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: Anthony Hawgood

Program: welding and fabrication techniques

“If Trump had won again, I’d be worried,” Hawgood said. “Trump for a second term with even more power to do what he wants? No. I’m glad Biden won. I’m not sure how it’ll affect us as Canadians. Hopefully, he’ll open up trading a bit more and make things better. The stock market went up after Biden won, so it’s clear that the world is behind him. Trump is a sore loser. Biden is the winner. The world has recognized that it is Biden. He won the popular vote and the electoral college. He’s the clear winner. My biggest worry is that Trump supporters are threatening to move to Canada. We don’t want them. They can stay at home in the south.”

Ryan Powell, a student in HVAC, trusts that Trump's repeals are necessary.
Ryan Powell, a student in HVAC, trusts that Trump's repeals are necessary. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: Ryan Powell

Program: heating ventilation and air conditioning

“I wanted Trump to win,” Powell said. “Obviously, it’s an unpopular opinion, but here’s how I see it. It’s sort of one of those things where you see someone use all the resources that he can — for instance, Trump using the courts to try to find his way back in, to get the votes to win. I don’t see that as fraud. I don’t see that as a waste of public service. Those resources wouldn’t be available to Trump unless they were necessary and unless they had troubles in the past. They are there for a reason. This is important. Let Trump follow those procedures, let it happen. Let it end that way, whatever the cost to taxpayers. There’s always an end to the amount of repeals allowed. There are rules in the constitution. There’s no need to worry.”

Kaitia Sheldrick, a veterinary assistant student, hopes for a return to normalcy.
Kaitia Sheldrick, a veterinary assistant student, hopes for a return to normalcy. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: Kaitia Sheldrick

Program: veterinary assistant

“I wanted Joe Biden to win,” Sheldrick said. “The way Trump handled the coronavirus wasn’t very respectful. Joe Biden, hopefully, is going to fix the democracy of the U.S. and everything else that Trump had messed up. Coronavirus has been a life-changer for all of us. It needs to be mandated and fixed. We need to get through it together. I think Joe Biden will be able to help a lot, for America and the partnership with Canadians. Maybe we can return to normalcy. How the whole election played out was ridiculous. The way Trump was talking about the ‘real votes’ and ‘illegal votes’ was really stupid. Now some states have to recount, and now it’s a big waiting game.

Also, Joe Biden’s dog is the first dog to return to the White House. As a vet student, I think that’s really nice.”

Graeme Kent, an ITS employee, trusts that Biden will try to unify the political divide.
Graeme Kent, an ITS employee, trusts that Biden will try to unify the political divide. Photo credit: Alvin Tsang

Name: Graeme Kent

Department: information technology services

“I wanted Joe Biden to win,” Kent said. “I feel like Donald Trump has been forcing a huge divide in the country, whereas Biden is trying to unify it. Biden’s policies overall are better. I like trying to push for universal healthcare. I just don’t like Donald Trump as a human being. Now he’s trying to find a way to cheat the system. He’s trying to draw it out and find any way he can to stay in power.”

Laura Gardner, a student in applied museum studies, is not a fan of the electoral college system.
Laura Gardner, a student in applied museum studies, is not a fan of the electoral college system. Photo credit: Frankie Benvenuti

Name: Laura Gardner

Program: applied museum studies

“I definitely wanted Joe Biden to win,” Gardner said. “I cared that he is concerned about COVID-19 because Trump did not take that seriously. Biden is putting together a task force, and it’s much needed. Going forward, he is the person to make the economy recover a lot quicker once the vaccine comes through. The election was a democratic process. I’m not a fan of the electoral college system, but Trump is just throwing a tantrum. He clearly wanted to win, and he’s just not accepting the fact that mail-in ballots are just as valid. The instance of fraud is just minimal.”

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