Donald Trump's victory stunned students on college campuses across the country, including the University of Pennsylvania, which can count Trump among its alums, and nearby Drexel University.

"I literally couldn't get out of bed," said Penn sophomore Amanda Agyapong, 18, a psychology pre-med major from Ghana who has spent the last 11 years in the United States.

She skipped class Wednesday morning, so devastated that she said she didn't want to leave her room.

It was only when Penn's black cultural center offered to host a lunch that she decided to go and be with other students.

"They are making it a safe space for us today," she said.

Staff at colleges and departments across Penn were reaching out to students to help them cope with the results, whether their candidate lost and they are sad or won and they are feeling unwelcome.

Penn Hillel set up informal meetings for students to come and share their feelings. Another campus groups canceled a panel on majors and minors in favor of allowing students gather to discuss their feelings.

A biology professor postponed a midterm.

"Many students were emotionally invested in the U.S. Presidential election," the announcement from the professor said, "and stayed up late into the early hours of this morning following the election results."

Students planned a solidarity walk for Wednesday evening.

Penn President Amy Gutmann urged acceptance in a statement to the campus.
"This Presidential campaign was one of the most bitter, divisive and hurtful in American history," she said. "Whoever won, millions of people were going to be terribly troubled by the results. The American people have now voted, and it is our duty to respect the outcome. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or citizenship, everyone needs to be heard and respected. I fervently believe that the diversity of America and its welcoming heart make this country great.

"It is my hope that ideals that we hold dear at Penn -- inclusion, civic engagement and constructive dialogue – will guide our nation's new administration, and that they will work hard to ensure opportunity, peace and prosperity for every person and every group that together form the diverse mosaic of the United States."

But acceptance seemed hard on Wednesday.

"There are a lot of people who aren't very happy with the outcome of the election," said Griffin Rubin, 21, a senior political science major from San Antonio.

In the end, he decided he couldn't support either candidate and made a third party selection.

Even George Lemmon, 22, a senior from Villanova, who voted for Trump, was far from happy.

"There's no winning," he said.

But the accounting and legal studies major believes that good could still come of the nation's choice. He pointed out Trump's lack of government experience as a plus.

"He is an outsider," Lemmon said. "We talk about bringing together Washington finally. My hope would be that this stranger who is stepping into office can almost be the catalyst to help the House, the Democrats, the Republicans, to overlook their problems and unite."

While some universities may count it as a plus if the president elect is an alumn, Penn has not emphasized the connection - and wasn't gloating on Wednesday. Gutmann didn't mention it in her statement.

"Generally, it's more of something to sweep under the rug," said Jaidev Reddy, 27, a first-year MBA student at Wharton, from where Trump got a degree.

Reddy, of New York City, said he was very disappointed in the outcome. Sadly, he said he thinks some people couldn't handle electing a female president.
Female students felt the loss acutely.

Maggie Mulhern, 18, a freshman mechanical engineering major at nearby Drexel University, couldn't hold back the tears.

"It just feels like the nation didn't care about us," said Mulhern, of Philadelphia, who also noted her support for LGBTQ students and minority students. "It's just scary. He can say I'm going to grab a girl by the p---- and that's accepted. It just shows the rape culture that is prevalent in this nation."

She spent the wee hours of the morning looking up ways to remove a president, but came away with little hope of reversing the outcome.

"I'm hoping that the Republican Party kind of holds him in place and doesn't let his more radical ideas come out," she said.

Her friend, Daniel McGarry, 18, a freshman nursing major from Philadelphia, put his hand on Mulhern's to give her comfort.

"The fact that he is pretty much bigoted against everyone, it's a disgrace," he said. "The fact that America sided with him is also a disgrace."

Students stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, hoping the results would miraculously change. Ashima Katakwar, 19, a sophomore biology major at Drexel, couldn't stop the yawns as she studied with friends in the university's main administration building. She couldn't stop watching the election results.


"I can't believe that someone like him is the face of America for the next four years," said Katakwar, 19, of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stephanie Calderon, 20, a sophomore engineering major from Deptford, N.J., also called the election results "sad" for women and the country at large.

"I thought with having an African American president, we had taken steps forward," she said. ""With him as president, we're taking a million steps back."

But now, she said, it's time for acceptance and resilience.

"Realize it's not the president that makes the nation. It's the people," she said. "So we just accept it and try to give him a chance to prove us wrong."

Around the country, other college leaders were weighing in on the election, too.

At Brown University, President Christina H. Paxson offered advice in an email to the campus.

"As a community, there are two things we can do as we grapple with the results of this election," she wrote. "The most important is to take care of yourselves and give support to those who need it. The second is to approach the post-election period in a way that is consonant with Brown's values. As an academic community, we should aim to understand the divisions in our country, and develop ways to address them."

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel in a letter to the campus said it would take time to fully understand the impact of the election.


"Our responsibility is to remain committed to education, discovery and intellectual honesty - and to diversity, equity and inclusion," he wrote. "We are at our best when we come together to engage respectfully across our ideological differences; to support ALL who feel marginalized, threatened or unwelcome; and to pursue knowledge and understanding, as we always have, as the students, faculty and staff of the University of Michigan."