“2016 was intense,” said Montclair State senior Rebecca Innocent. Yes, the U.S. “hired” a new boss for the White House. Lin-Manuel Miranda made Hamilton cool again. Clowns almost took over the country. Harambe passed on to greener lands. And while Rob and Chyna came together, Brad and Angelina split up. Queen Bey brought us “Lemonade” while getting us “in formation.” Leo finally got that Oscar. Finals came and left. It was a lot. Here’s what Monclair State students said stood out to them.
Donald Trump was voted in as the next president of the United States.
“He doesn’t really appeal to me,” is the consensus of quite a few students. “Maybe it’s because I’m not a middle-aged white man who feels like my job is going to Mexico,” answered Erica Rodriguez, who was not at all impressed by the president-elect.
Yet, numbers spoke in Nov. 2016 and according to post-election analysis polls, many voters turned out in huge waves believing that Trump would switch the status-quo around for them and take some of the power away from Washington elites. But for most of the year, pollsters could not predict this win. Hasta Luego 2016 election. 2017 inauguration festivities are now underway.
Saying goodbye to election 2016 also means goodbye, in a way, to Hillary Clinton. She was the first female nominee for president of any major party. She won the popular vote in the election, by around a million, but in the end, she lost the Electoral College vote. She still has her fans. She still has those who want to lock her up over a scandal concerning whether she mishandled classified information by using email through her private server. She’s a key 2016 memory for some Montclair State students such as Rodriguez. “It was a memorable nomination,” Rodriguez said, reflecting on Hillary 2016.
It wasn’t just a rough year for Clinton and some of the politically-minded, though. Finals came out in full force at the end of December, leaving some students struggling. “I had a [Computer Science Information Technology] final, with too many problems,” joked Obi Chuka. Calculus classes kept trying to teach students how to find the limit.
Conjugating verbs got muy caliente in Spanish classes across campus. And English students had to write and rewrite all of their drafts. Twice. Now it looks like Chuka might be trying to get his hands on the master control, alt, delete keys to say goodbye to 2016.
Back to all things global, this summer, the Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and some other superstar athletes took a trip to South America and came back covered in gold and other fine metals. Even though Ryan Lochte faked a robbery, it was a pretty fun TV viewer experience overall.
“I was cheering on as those girls somersaulted over, and over again,” said Danielle Mason, referring to the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
Montclair State also recalls when everyone’s Facebook friends checked in at Standing Rock. This location was in reference to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a huge oil pipeline project spanning four states. Native Americans who live right where the project was proposed to expand, as well as a lot of supporters, got together to protest the plans. The fear was that an oil pipeline would contaminate local drinking water and disturb some sacred ground. Their voices were heard, and at the end of 2016, the verdict was that the pipeline would not run near the reservation.
People we said goodbye to in 2016: Muhammad Ali, Nancy Reagan, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, Gwen Ifill, Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke, Miss Cleo, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds. RIP, from Montclair State.
When asked to list a few other things that come to mind along with the end of the year, Mason also fired off, “Zika, Hurricanes, Pokémon Go.”
Along with shootings across the country, the Wells Fargo bank crisis, the EpiPen scandal, and the Chicago Cubs batting their way to their first World Series win in over 100 years, 2016 was a busy year.
“We will miss you 2016,” said Mason on the last look at the year.