The best and worst of college rankings

By Victoria Lavelle

best and worst

For the second straight year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges have come in last place on WalletHub’s 2017 “Best and Worst Community Colleges” list.

Pennsylvania’s community colleges ranked 46th out of 46 qualifying states in 2016, and 44th out of 44 eligible states in 2017.

Within the state, DCCC ranked third out of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges, placing at No. 580 nationwide.

Luzerne County Community College ranked first, and Butler County Community College ranked second.

WalletHub rankings were based on 14 key measures, including learning cost and financing, education results, and career outcomes.

Student reactions over WalletHub’s dead last ranking of community colleges in the Keystone State were dismissive and blunt.

“Students shouldn’t give WalletHub’s ranking too much clout because it’s just one out of the many that can be found on Google search,” said computer science major Danny Lawrence.

Lawrence explained that he only looks at the college ranking systems that collect data from federal agencies.

“WalletHub’s ranking of our state’s community colleges is a false representation of our superb educational experience here at DCCC,” said Kelly McCuster, a social work associate in arts student at DCCC. “The internet is littered with college rankings that are nothing more than a bunch of high-stakes popularity contests. Organizations profit by scoring a school based solely off its reputation — deserved or not. Essentially, college rankings are a bad practice because they tend to do more damage by diminishing the character and notoriety of the vast majority of participating colleges.”

Nevertheless, because choosing a college is a sizeable investment, students and their families often turn to college rankings to assist them in making the decision, something Hope Diehl, assistant vice president for DCCC’s Enrollment Services, discourages because such rankings may not be legitimate.

“We should not give too much credence to any formal ranking system of colleges,” Diehl said. “Though college rankings may seem appealing to read, they tend to rely on questionable formulas to rank colleges.”

Diehl also pointed out that a majority of more popular college rankings rely heavily upon student opinion and campus reputation, which, she explained, is not an effective tool for measuring a school’s value.

WalletHub defended its rankings.

WalletHub media director and analyst Jill Gonzalez is a financial literacy advocate who has appeared on NBC Nightly News, Fox Business Network, and Wall Street Journal Live as listed on her LinkedIn profile.

Gonzalez responded to questions raised by The Communitarian, regarding the last place ranking of Pennsylvania community colleges, with a statement via email.

“To determine which states’ have the best and worst community-college systems in the U.S., our researchers drew upon results from our analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst Community Colleges,” Gonzalez explained. “Pennsylvania ranked last because even its highest-ranking community college, Luzerne County Community College, ranks in the middle-of-the-pack at 444th. The lowest ranking Pennsylvania institution, Lackawanna College, ranked second to last at 725th for 2018 was bogged down by cost of in-state tuition and fees, and ranked 813th for this metric at $14,110 in 2016, and $14,580 in 2017. Our system is an objective study, created as a guide to help students, parents, and faculty assess the status of higher education within their state”

According to Gonzalez, WalletHub helps students, parents, and faculty assess the status of higher education within their state. She emphasized that it’s not WalletHub’s goal to damage an institution’s image by placing colleges in last place.

Where to find other rankings and reviews

The growing industry of ranking universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical schools has skyrocketed in recent years, and most offer a wide scale of campus details nationwide.

The long-standing U.S. News and World Report and Washington Mont h ly magazine have published college rankings for the past 11 years. Money and Forbes magazines also publish guides by Princeton Review, Barron’s, the Fiske Guide to Colleges, and The College Board.

With the advancement of modern technology and the entire world accessible at the tap of a mouse or finger, the internet has also become home to a growing population of “best and worst college” websites.

In addition to college rankings, companies like CollegeStats offers a database of more than 3,000 colleges and universities to find the advanced degree opportunities tailored to each individual student. CollegeStats allows users to decide what matters most to them in the quest to find a college fit, and a separate online degree finder to narrow the search.

Another alternative to “best college ranks” are the handful of college review websites available online. Visitors can read college reviews created by students and alumni, or write their own campus review to post. Some of those sites include CollegeTimes, StudentReviews, Unigo, and RateMyProfessor.

The American Association of Colleges (AAC) estimates there are more than 6,900 accredited four-year colleges and universities in the nation with 20.5 million undergraduate students nationwide. Nearly half of all college students, 12.4 million, are enrolled at 1,167 community colleges, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. (AACC)

The estimated number of students attending community colleges nationwide outweigh the number of students in colleges and universities, yet fewer community college rankings exist.

best and worst 2

The flaws of college rankings systems

The Brookings Institution released a 2015 report titled, “Beyond college rankings: A value-added approach to assessing two-year and four-year schools.” The report notes that students don’t know enough about how institutions of higher learning compare along key dimensions, especially for colleges granting credentials of two years or less, which graduate two out of every five postsecondary graduates.

Moreover, popular rankings focus only on a small fraction of four-year colleges and tend to reward selective institutions over others that contribute and invest most to student success.

Organizations, websites, and magazines that rank schools all claim to have their own criteria to rate schools in a variety of categories that include four-year universities and colleges, and two-year community colleges, technology and liber arts institutes. The creation of additional sub-categories has also been trending, such as best dorms, best education, safest campus, and best sports program are a few examples.

Though most ranking systems have their own methodologies, a closer examination reveals some common traits. To start, college rankings aim to target high school graduating seniors and their parents in the pursuit of higher education.

All rankings are dependent upon college reputation provided by students or alumni, and opinions offered by surrounding school district counselors and neighboring colleges.

Another similarity is key data on campus graduation rates, and annual income of graduates influence a college’s overall ranking. Lastly, each organization explains in a small print reminder that no ranking system is perfect, with a notation marking the many limitations and caveats of the data analysis put into rankings.

How the data is compromised

Global College Search Associates (GCSA) in Chicago offers a client-based, interest-focused approach to the college search and selection process. GCSA helps navigate students through an array of career options achievable through the many majors and programs available throughout various educational institutions in the United States and abroad.

GCSA president Patricia Kranhke explained that during her previous job as an assistant director of admissions at Rutgers University, she was responsible for collecting and calculating much of the data being submitted to the federal government and the various ranking publications, such as U.S. News and World Report.

Kranhke recalled how it became evident to everyone working around her during the collection of data and analysis just how easy it was for information to be manipulated to improve its placement on the rankings.

“This is why so many colleges and universities have stopped submitting their information to the rankings publications, and why U.S. News and World Report is fumbling around in the media trying to push their agenda and change their research methodology,” she said. “The better way to obtain real, unadulterated data is from the federal government.”

How prospective students are affected

Members of the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) have expressed long withstanding concerns about college ranking publications and internet sites, and suggest that the effects of college rankings are “extensive and ongoing.”

In 2011, the NACAC released results from the National Association for College Admission Counseling Ad Hoc Committee on U.S. News & World Report Rankings Survey.

The survey found that while a majority of college admission counseling professionals hold negative opinions of the U.S. News & World Report undergraduate rankings, colleges still use rankings to market themselves, and the title “Best Colleges” is not an accurate representation of the information in the publication.

The survey also noted despite holding strong negative attitudes toward the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the majority of NACAC members still use the rankings in their admission and advising work.

Information students can trust

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) introduced the “College Scorecard” in 2015 under the Obama administration. Using data and collecting information from the student loan program and the IRS, the Scorecard is thought to offer better, more accurate results in comparison to data previously available, according to Kranhke.

Before the DOE’s scorecard, average graduate earnings post-graduation was taken from the annual Payscale College Earnings Report that required graduates to volunteer their yearly income.

The College Scorecard data was designed to increase transparency, while aiding students with choosing the right college. The data has also been used to improve college quality by reflecting how well schools are serving students.

However, the College Scorecard Data only reports earnings data for students starting as undergraduates who received federal loans or grants. Federal aid recipients make up roughly half of all college students who generally have lower family incomes than their peers, leaving wide-spread speculation as to the scorecard’s accuracy.

Campus visits are recommended

Disclaimers on student review websites caution users that the corporations make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of its content.

That is just one reason college officials like Diehl recommend visiting a college instead of simply relying on rankings.

“At DCCC, we reach out to future college hopefuls through college fairs and career nights, and recommend they schedule a guidance visit here on campus by calling the admissions office,” Diehl said.

To see DCCC information on the College Scorecard, students should visit https:// col leg es corecard . ed .gov / school/?211927-Delaware_ County_Community_College

Contact Victoria Lavelle at Communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

Dermatologists warn against silicone injections

By Victoria Lavelle

surgery

“If only I could turn back the hands of time,” said Philadelphia native Rajee Narinesingh. “I would have done things much different knowing what I know today, rather than rushing into the unknown.”

Narinesingh described several visits she made in 2005 to O’neal Morris, an unlicensed doctor in Miami claiming to specialize in low price silicone beauty injections. It’s those encounters with Morris which she alleges left her scarred and disfigured.

“We all want to be the most attractive individuals that we can be,” Narinesingh said. “I was like so many others who seek cosmetic transformations. I wanted speedy results that fit my budget, and Morris offered that to me in his smooth talking sales pitch.”

Narinesingh, who said she was unaware of the hidden dangers, was very pleased with the initial results of the silicone injections. To that degree, she deemed it safe to continue treatments under Morris’ care for another six months.

“It wasn’t until I woke up one morning to my cheeks swollen from a burning rash that I became alarmed,” Narinesingh recalled. “I panicked when I was unable to reach Morris, and each waking day I grew horrified by the realization that ice and inflammation creams were not aiding my situation.”

According to Narinesingh, her fears became reality after seeing a WSVN-Miami news report of Morris’s arrest for manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license.

“Imagine my grief as I learned Morris was charged for killing a patient during buttocks injections that prosecutors claimed was a concoction of Fix-o-Flat tire repair and industrial silicone likely purchased at Home Depot,” Narinesingh said. “In the following weeks, tumors formed on my face, and turned hard as concrete.”

Narinesingh isn’t alone in her beauty enhancing crave. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports injected augmentation as one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgical procedures with over 4,000 procedures in 2014.

Lip procedures are the second-fastest growing facial procedure in the United States. Unlike Narinesingh’s case, these are silicone-free, legal injections performed by board certified plastic surgeons.

In the United States, cosmetic silicone injections are not approved by the FDA. Only one liquid silicone product is currently FDA-approved for treating a retinal disorder usually associated with infectious disease patients.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery issued the 2015 annual “Emerging Technology Report” which warns of the many possible side effects from silicone injections. Such complications include granuloma formation manifesting as firm to rock hard inflamed nodules, lymphatic obstruction manifesting as an orange texture, migration, discoloring skin, cutaneous necrosis, and pigmentary abnormalities over the injection site.

The report also cautions that adverse events may appear months to years after silicone is injected and carry the risk of internal complications such as kidney and liver failure.

The annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in 2013 at the University of Texas Health Science Center reported a 12 percent increase in the number of patients who received liquid silicone injections that later died from pulmonary silicone embolism.

Carlos S. Restrepo, M.D., the director of chest radiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center further advised, “The illegal use of fluid silicone is a practice that carries life-threatening risks, so the people should be aware of the complications before they seek vanity for a bargain value.”

Many years have passed, though Narinesingh admits the scars of the incident will always remain fresh on her mind.

“After O’neal’s arrest, I started making numerous appearances on television talk shows nationally and internationally, sharing my botched cosmetic injection story with the world,” Narinesingh said. “As the media helped my story reach the masses, I witnessed how it tugged the heartstrings of so many.”

Narinesingh explained her television appearances were what eventually led to her being discovered by the hit reality television show, Botched, on the E! Network.

According to Narinesingh, after years of being labeled “Elephant Woman” and “Cement Face,” she underwent corrective cosmetic surgery with world-renowned cosmetic surgeons, Terry Dubrow, M.D. and Paul Nassif, M.D.

In May 2016, at the age of 48, Narinesingh said she became a whole new woman. Featured in a new segment from Barcroft TV, Narinesingh showed off her new, improved appearance to a record-setting audience, according to E! TV.

“I’m ready for the world,” she announced smiling from ear to ear. “Now, I hope the world is ready for me!”

Contact Victoria Lavelle at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma strike U.S.

By David Schwartz

Hurricane Harvey, a category four storm, devastated many areas of southeastern Texas, including Houston, causing major flooding on Aug 26. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Harvey accumulated a record 52 inches of rainfall during the peak of the storm.

hurricane 1

Hurricane Irma, a category five storm, continued to pass by Puerto Rico and Cuba before reaching Florida this past weekend as a category four. Irma, which eventually weakened to a tropical storm, caused massive flooding and wind damage in the Florida Keys, Miami, and Jacksonville, which suffered a five-foot storm surge and accumulated eight inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Tampa Bay, Orlando, and other areas experienced major power outages. About 2.3 million people were without power, according to the NWS. Officials announced to the public that several residents of Florida could be without power for another week.

On Sept. 11, Irma made its way up to Georgia and South Carolina. The city of Charleston suffered a 10-foot storm surge and accumulated six inches of rain, according to the NWS.

On its way to Puerto Rico, the category five storm hit the islands of St. Martin and Barbuda on Sept 7. The prime minister of Barbuda has already declared the island barely habitable.

In a press conference, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged citizens to evacuate immediately before Irma hit the mainland. “Do not sit and wait for this storm to come,” Scott warned. “Remember, we can rebuild your home. Not your life.”

Almost seven million people, a third of Florida’s population, were able to evacuate before the storm hit the area. So far, there are 38 reported deaths in the United States and 43 reported fatalities in the Caribbean, according to the NHC.

So far, there have been 74 confirmed fatalities due to the destruction caused by Harvey, according to the NWS. With catastrophic flooding taking over the city of Houston, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Brock Long told the public that the recovery from the storm would last many years.

hurricane 2

Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria, a category four storm, hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, which left the island 100 percent without power. The island of Dominica was greatly damaged by the storm the day before. So far, 18 deaths have been reported in the Carribean Islands, including 15 in Dominica.

Hurricanes of this frequency and magnitude often spark conversations about climate change, an important topic over the last several years in the scientific community.

“A disaster like this often brings awareness, but we can’t jump to conclusions,” said Christopher Etherington, assistant professor of Earth & Space Science at DCCC. “Climate and weather are two very different things. What we see in the short-term every day is weather. Climate is generally agreed upon an average of 30 years of data. Using these storms to describe climate is difficult to do.”

In June, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord, an agreement between 196 nations to fight climate change. The purpose of the Accord is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit average global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius over the next century.

“There’s a lot of politics in play here,” Etherington said. “We are still in [Paris Accord] until 2020, right after the next presidential election. We cannot pull out yet.”

Currently, all the countries that have agreed to the Accord have until 2020 to submit a long-term plan.

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Etherington said. “[Trump] doesn’t agree with the priorities of the agreement and if we had stayed in we likely wouldn’t be meeting these benchmarks because the current administration doesn’t feel these priorities are important.”

However, Etherington believes that Trump pulling out of the agreement could weaken the commitment from other countries involved with the Paris Accord and influence other international agreements going forward.

On Sept. 12, music manager Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B organized a hurricane relief telethon for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, featuring Beyonce, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, and Leonardo DiCaprio, which was featured on 15 channels and multiple social media outlets. The 44 million raised from the telethon went to many charities in support of hurricane relief, including United Way, ASPCA, and Habitat for Humanity.

The Salvation Army has activated all of its assets in response to the devastation caused by Harvey and Irma. They provided food, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care for the victims in the Caribbean and southern United States.

The Red Cross are also providing financial assistance in support of the victims of both storms. Donations are accepted on both of their websites.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but everybody’s going to come together,” said Scott after Irma struck Florida. “We’re going to get this state rebuilt.”

Contact David Schwartz at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Entrepreneur puts an end to broken cables with the Snakable

By Dave Mattera

goulbourne_snakable_photo_3
Snakable, the armored USB cable comes in five colors: Meteor Red, Leaf Green, Eclipse Black, Flame Orange, and Cloud White. Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Prospect Park resident Wes Goulbourne, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, has invented his own armored USB cable, the “Snakable,” which uses a ball joint assembly at its connectors allowing for more flexibility, preventing the cable from breaking after daily use.

Goulbourne, a former graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, started his company in 2014. Since then, he has sold around 7,000 Snakables.

Goulbournes’ innovative technology has landed him a patent for his product as well as an MFi certification from Apple, which gives Goulbourne the license to manufacture products using Apple’s lightning connectors.

Snakable is available in five colors and made for Apple and Android products. It retails for $29.99 and comes with a three-year warranty.

Snakable can be purchased online through the company’s website, Snakable. com, and its online retail partners, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and The Grommet. Locally, Snakable is sold at the University of Pennsylvania’s Computer Connection store, located in Center City, Philadelphia.

Last week, I met Goulbourne over coffee at Starbucks, where we talked about his invention, the struggles and perks of running a business, and what motivated him to become his own boss.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Snakable?

A: Being a gadget lover and tech enthusiast, I am in constant need to charge a device. Whether it be my mobile, tablet, or speaker, a battery is dead somewhere.

Over the years I have gone through many USB cables, either needing fixing or replacement. One night, my fiancée came to me with her broken cable. As I was in the process of fixing it, this thought entered my mind: With all the advancement in technology, why hasn’t anyone done the same for the life blood of the USB cable? There had to be an innovative product on the market that takes care of this issue.

What I found that night, was that not only were there no similar products like that available, I found many articles, comments, posts, and reviews, of customers just like me, sick of having to replace or fix their cables every few months or even more frequently.

Noticing that this was a problem that most users face, I put pad to paper, or rather, stylus to iPad and sketched the initial design for Snakable. See, USB cables break at the point right below the connectors on each end. This is due to over-bending the cable, folding in on itself and eventually breaking the internal wires leaving them exposed. The movement would need to be restricted so that the cable would not be able to flex past an approved bend-radius. Snakes make some pretty incredible moves, obviously without destroying themselves.

Thinking about snakes brought back an early childhood memory of those plastic toy snakes, commonly given as prizes at carnivals. Those toys mimic the slithering of a snake, without allowing the use to fold the toy in on itself. We had a winner, a snake-like cable… Snakable.

Q: How did you get start-up funding?

A: I received start-up capital through the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. On here I displayed the idea for Snakable and a detailed plan for making it happen. Folks who backed the project received a Snakable at a lower cost than the estimated manufacturers’ suggested retail price (MSRP).

The project was on Kickstarter for 30 days. At the end, 1,335 backers from around the world pledged their hard earned money on my idea. It was an exciting and humbling experience. I am not sure how I would have found the money otherwise, as banks these days are not lending money for the next big thing anymore. Well, not unless you have substantial assets to put up as collateral.

Q: What makes your product so unique compared to your competitors?

A: Since Snakables’ debut, other products have come to market claiming durability with designs that incorporate some sort of protection at the connectors. Other products use static [non-moving parts] that seems to work against the product by eliminating all movement at the connector.

The production design for Snakable incorporates a patented ball-joint assembly on each end of the cable that prevents the cord from breaking when it’s being bent. These joints are assembled atop the cable and are molded onto the connectors, restricting and protecting the cable.

Q: Who is your target market for selling your product?

A: The market for Snakable is fairly wide. Consumers who use their mobile devices frequently end up charging those devices often, resulting in eventually broken cables. Historically, our target market has been consumers 18 to 34, specifically college students. We are always looking out for opportunities to place Snakable in the hands of college students. Who uses mobile devices more than students!?

Q: How do you market and promote your product/brand?

A: I have found success with social media marketing. You have to talk to your customers where they live: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. If you search USB cables on Amazon, you will get literally thousands of results for cables priced from under a dollar to over 50. Strategic marketing is extremely important to not get lost in the sea of similar or even subpar products. So I am always looking for new and innovative ways to get Snakable to stand out to our audience. I also connect directly with customers through email marketing, and I regularly attend or exhibit Snakable at industry trade shows to promote the wholesale side of the business.

Q: Why did you want to work for yourself?

A: Growing up my father worked for himself, so the entrepreneurial spirit has been engrained in me since I was young. When I got older and began working, though, I learned the typical patterns of inequality in the workplace, such as low pay, lack of benefits, and rules that seem to be in place more to control than support the workforce.

I take issue with needing to plead for time off to visit a sick relative, go to the doctor, or having your job threatened for being three minutes late. I have always thought of working as providing a service to the company while they pay you for it; a simple professional exchange. But what I have witnessed and typically experienced, is anything but professional.

I always felt that the employee should be treated as an asset and since I never received that warm and fuzzy feeling at work, I decided that working for myself was the way to go.

Q: What are the perks and struggles that come with running your own business?

A: Being an entrepreneur has given me a great deal of understanding and respect for business. Engineering, packaging design, licensing, marketing, financing, advertising, logistics and distribution, legal, and many more aspects go into bringing a product from inception to delivery.

Every day most people go to the stores and purchase items. It could be soda, sneakers, or toilet paper; all of these products, every product, must go through those motions, each of which can be a tremendous undertaking. Those are the struggles. You have a great idea for a product that will solve an issue consumers face. Believe it or not, that is your one and only easy part.

Being in business for myself has been an educational experience for sure. The past two years have been a whirlwind of learning experiences, reality checks, and more learning. Knowledge learned by actually doing real business first hand will teach you so much more than any professor or textbook. Of course, to excel in business, book and classroom learning is important as well.

My biggest struggle was separating my personal life from business. When you work for a company, at the end of your shift you are ready to fly out of the door, zip home and not think about the job until the next day. When running your own business, however, I have found it increasingly difficult to turn work mode off.

As an owner, you are so involved in every aspect of the business that it seriously will consume your thoughts. The business is your baby and the mindset becomes that of a concerned parent, always needing to check in. That isn’t a healthy way of being, especially in terms of personal relationships.

Q: What advice can you give to up and coming entrepreneurs?

A: If you have an idea for a product or service that you have researched and found to fill a void in the marketplace, be ready for the ride and fight of your life.

Being an entrepreneur is likely going to be the hardest and most fulfilling work you’ll ever do. One of the sharks on “Shark Tank” said it best: entrepreneurs are the only people who are willing to work 80 hours a week, to avoid working 40 hours a week. These are the truest words ever spoken. If you want the luxury of making your own hours, just know that they will be much more than that of a typical job.

Another important thing to note is perseverance and determination. Not everyone is going to love, support, or buy your idea. Some folks will even dismiss you completely. I spoke with a lawyer once looking for patent advice. He took one look at the paperwork and swore that the product was not patentable and that I was foolish for trying to tell him otherwise. I had close friends tell me that it is “just a cable” and that no one will buy it.

Fast forward, Snakable is a patented product enjoyed by thousands of users in over 97 countries. Business is not easy, but nothing worth it usually is easy. Do your homework to ensure that you have a viable idea, before dumping any kind of significant funding at it.

Most importantly, though, listen to yourself, trust your instincts and work your [expletive] off, even when the going gets tough and there seems like there is no hope, keep going and eventually you will find yourself where you want to be. Sounds cliché, but trust me there is a positive reason why.

Q: How can customers connect with your brand?

A: More information about Snakable can be found on the company website: Snakable. com. Snakable has monitored social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Customers can also reach out directly by emailing info@snakable.com or by calling 1-844-SNAKABLE.

Contact Dave Mattera at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

America’s bipolar experiment

By Michael Blanche

Election Day
President-elect Donald Trump, joined on stage by running mate Mike Pence, speaks to supporters at the Election Night Party at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/TNS)

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.

The electoral college has given the Republican nominee the victory, with 279 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228 and eventually ending with 306 to 232, respectively. Clinton is the fourth candidate in U.S. history to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.

Many pundits are calling the contest a nail biter, as a result of the all-important swing states. Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire were each won within one percent of the electorate. The popular vote was won by 200,000 votes which is also an indication of the close split and bipolarity seen in the voting population across the country.

“The electorate is split, but progress can be made,” said Lael Harcum, a sophomore nursing major. “But, if people want to work together, they will.” At 2:40 a.m. on Nov. 9, the former Secretary of State made the concession call to the new President-elect. Shortly after, President Barack Obama also called to congratulate and invite President-elect Trump to the White House on Nov., 10.

Trump and his campaign ignored an overwhelming majority of polls, experts and politicians projecting a win for him to be impossible.

Trump clinched the electoral triumph by sweeping the Rust Belt which has trended Democratic for several election cycles and includes many rural parts of Pennsylvania. Many are saying Trump tapped into the anger of the white working class that has felt alienated and ignored by representatives in Washington.

Trump coined the terms for his voters, “the silent majority,” or, “the stealth vote.” On Tuesday morning, the hashtag

#russiachoosestrump was trending on Twitter throughout Russia. Anyssa Medley, a nursing major in her third year at DCCC says that Americans may welcome a more “friendly relationship” with Russia.

When battleground states started to fall into the red column it became clear to Clinton and her supporters that the “Blue Wall,” of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. would become red as well, essentially losing the presidency that seemed all but guaranteed for Clinton.

“I cried,” said Clara Harding, a freshman art major here at DCCC. “I don’t blame her for the loss, but she didn’t create enough enthusiasm among her base.”

Late Tuesday evening, stocks and futures fell dramatically when Trump began to take the lead in the crucial swing states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, but rebounded in the morning and surged strongly until the closing bell, the next day.

“I am fearful of what could happen, and four years is a short time but a lot can happen during a president’s term,” Crystal Fountain, a second year student at DCCC said.

After Clinton made the concession call, future Vice President Mike Pence took the podium and introduced the future president. Trump began his acceptance speech by acknowledging Clinton’s hard work on the campaign and throughout her public life. The President Elect also avoided devolving into the rhetoric that was prominent throughout his campaign.

At 11:30 the next day, Clinton gave an emotional concession speech to the divided country, aiming to unite the starkly divided electorate after one of the most vitriolic and bitter campaigns in recent memory.

“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it,” Clinton said in her speech.

Now the Republicans will have control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives and are poised to repeal many of the current administration’s programs such as the Affordable Care Act.

Only a few world leaders have expressed concerns regarding the outcome of the election. Most offered a positive outlook for new alliances with the incoming new commander in chief.

Much will be made of the Clinton campaign’s lack of presence in Wisconsin during the lead up to the election, as she neglected to visit the state once after winning the Democratic primary.

Even more will be made about how Trump defied all odds and naysayers, overcame his own behaviors and character flaws to handily beat 17 qualified opponents and gain the White House.

Recently, broadly nonviolent protests have broken out in major cities across the U.S. in the wake of the surprise victory

Contact Michael Blanche at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu