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Hopes and Fears

The day after the presidential election, the MIT community began processing the outcome in Lobby 7.
December 20, 2016

It became clear in the early hours of November 9 that the MIT community would need a way to process an election outcome few had expected. So Caroline Mak ’18 and her friends wrapped Lobby 7’s six columns in paper and invited people to share their hopes and fears. The columns quickly filled with fears of deportation, police brutality, loss of rights. Fears of more misogyny, racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Fears for the environment. Fears by Trump supporters that peers would never understand why they voted for him. The columns also filled with hopes: America can be great again, we can learn from this election, and it “will bring forth the toughest, smartest generation of ass-­kicking women the world has ever known.” One person hoped to understand the 48 percent of American voters who made the opposite choice.

“We do some of our best work when we turn outward to the world,” President Reif wrote to the MIT community. “Let’s continue to do that now. And, following our students’ lead, let us find ways to listen to one another—with sympathy, humility, decency, respect, and kindness.”

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