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After stunning election of Trump, students share hopes and fears at MIT

MIT students wrote on posters on campus after learning the results of the presidential election. Caroline Mak

After an election like this, what are your hopes? What are your fears?

That’s the question 20-year-old Caroline Mak and her friends asked the MIT community Wednesday morning.

The college junior said she was watching the election Tuesday night with MIT Democrats, when she realized they needed a way to express themselves after such an emotional campaign.

“We thought let’s just have something in Lobby 7, which is one of our main gathering places and walkthroughs, and just sit and reflect because a lot of people were in distress and trying to process what’s going on,” Mak said. “We thought even if Clinton wins tonight, this has been a lot.”


Mak and her friends originally invited students Tuesday night to have a gathering in the lobby to share their feelings. On Wednesday morning, however, the group decided instead to post giant pieces of paper on the lobby pillars and invited peoplel to stop by and write their hopes and fears.

“All of us were doubtful if people would put anything there, but within moments it was getting covered,” Mak said.

Scrawled on the paper were notes, saying everything from “Love trumps hate” to “We stand together” to “I hope the American people can be civil about the election.”

Mak said though she is a part of MIT Democrats, the posters quickly became an outlet for people from both parties.

“A fair amount of Trump supporters came out,” Mak said. “I’ve come out and talked to them and it’s been really interesting to see the tone of everything and the respectful conversations we’ve had at a time when all the emotions are still pretty raw.”

Mak said the posters, which caught the attention of school administrators, will likely be left up for several days.

“I heard they might even be put in the MIT archives,” Mak said.


Mak said she wanted everyone, regardless of political affiliations, to feel supported.

“It really spoke to the original purpose of the event, which was to have a moment, no matter how you feel, to be with other people,” Mak said. “Seeing all of these different voices, all of these different concerns was very impactful.”

Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.