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ICYMI: Here's what happened during the 2016 elections

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., acknowledges applause from the crowd of supporters at the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Associations annual state fair Governor’s Day brunch on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Following the Nov. 8 election, emotions and stress levels have been riding high, especially on social media. As a result, some people are trying to crowd out some of the negativity circulating by
highlighting some lesser-known facts and events relating to the election.

In the House of Representatives, it is typical for 97 percent of incumbents to keep their seat according to Politifact. However, this year was different. Seven incumbents were unseated in district races. Two incumbents were unseated in the Senate.Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 9.44.47 PM

Many candidates who were elected will add diversity to the U.S. government. Kamala Harris was the first black person elected to represent California in the Senate. Catherine Cortez Masto was elected to be the first Latina U.S. Senator. Tammy Duckworth not only unseated “perhaps the most imperiled incumbent Republican in the Senate” according to the New York Times, but she is also the first woman of Thai heritage to be elected to the Senate. Kate Brown was elected governor of Oregon and is the first openly LGBT person to hold the office according to NPR.

Marijuana was on the ballot of nine states on Nov. 8. California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Recreational use of marijuana was also on the ballot for Arizona. However, the referendum did not pass. Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota voted to legalize medicinal use of the substance, whereas Montana voted to make medicinal use easier according to the Washington Post.

The minimum wage in the U.S. is well below those of other developed countries (according to Malthusian principles, a country with a developed economy and advanced technology that is sovereign). In an opinion article for The Economist, John Komlos stated that the minimum wage in the U.S. should be $12, but 13 states currently have a minimum wage of $7.25 (Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin). On Nov. 8, Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington all passed ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage.

Celebrations of positivity also occurred at Ithaca College following the election. On Thursday, three students stood out on the Academic Quad with posters offering free hugs to people walking by. Individuals also posted to their social media pages listing a time and place where they too would be offering free hugs.

Seven female students at the college performed “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange on Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 in Muller Chapel. The piece is a choreopoem, a series of poetic monologues set to dance and music.

Junior Carolyn Fasone stands outside of Muller Chapel after the performance of Ntozake Shange’s piece. Photo by Rachel Wolfgang

Carolyn Fasone, a junior writing for film, television and emerging media major at the college, was in attendance with a friend. Fasone said after the results of the election, the effects of the performance were deep.

“This was the perfect time to put on a show like this,” Fasone said. “It fostered a lot of community, and the monologues were so emotional.”

Julie Hughes, a junior television-radio major, went with Fasone out of interest but also to complete an assignment for her race and ethnicity class. She felt particularly moved by the performance as an ally of women of color.

“It was very therapeutic, and we all felt unified,” Hughes said. “They were just characters, but hearing their stories — I know there are people out there who have those same experiences, who have those same stories, and I just want to help and fight this battle together.”

Shange’s work celebrates the unity of women of color as they face the manifold difficulties of life. The piece has been performed on and off-Broadway, and it has been adapted into a book, television film and theatrical film. In 1976, it was nominated for a Tony Award.

A peaceful protest gathered Nov. 11 at the soccer field near Emerson Hall and marched down to The Commons in downtown Ithaca. The event was advertised with fliers quoting Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Bill Nye. The event was organized under the title “Love Trumps Hate,” which was a title used by many protests that gathered around the country this past week.

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Students organized anti-Trump protests called “Love Trumps Hate.” Photo by Rachel Wolfgang
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