Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Season at the HNC

Watching the presidential debates at the HNC
Voting season has arrived and the Hopkins Nanjing Center is buzzing with anticipation. Although HNC students are far removed from the atmosphere of election season in the US, it hasn’t stopped us from keeping up to date on presidential candidate debates and discussing the possible outcomes of the 2016 elections. “Have you mailed in your ballot yet?” has become a frequently asked question among American nationals. Non-American students have inquired about the differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. 

Within the last few weeks, multiple election events have taken place on campus. Two weeks ago a speaker sponsored by the U.S. Consulate office, presented on the American election system and the significance of the rise of Trump supporters. Soon after, the HNC faculty hosted a discussion on globalization’s influence on the American election. Topics ranged from the global free trade’s impact on American economy to the public frustration with the current political system. The election speaker series also included a presentation by Robert Shields on the Constitutional significance of the Al Gore v. Bush election year and the implications of that outcome for this election. Chinese students and international students were both inquisitive about the Electoral College system and intrigued by the impact the case had on judicial practice in the United States.

Election events held at the HNC

I found these events fascinating and helpful because I recently became a US citizen in 2015. Moreover, I am a resident of Ohio, notorious for its swing state status. Figuring out the process of absentee voting was slightly stressful but worth it. Although I am in China, as a Nigerian-American from Ohio, I still have the right to request a ballot by email and submit it by mail to the voting office. Amazing! When I shared this process with my roommate from China, we exchanged knowledge about the US political system and launched into the prospects of each candidate winning.

Tarela mailing her absentee ballot
This week, the elections will be on display in the HNC Kuang Yaming auditorium even as classes and events continue. We are all eager to see what will happen and are glad that we’re not missing out on anything.

Written by Tarela Osuobeni, HNC Certificate ‘17