Harris named first female Vice President – Elect

Jessica GuerrucciEditor-in-Chief

It took 48 vice presidents and 232 years – but the news came with Joe Biden being named president-elect that the United States will have its first female vice president.

“Thinking about Kamala Harris, the significance that comes with her, being a vice president-elect and all the things, she carries with her,” said Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, director of Women’s and Gender Studies. “She’s Asian-American and African American at the same time.”

The news came on Nov. 7 breaking what Harris called “one of the most substantial barriers” that exists in the U.S. with the California senator being named vice president-elect.

“While I may be the first woman in this office,” Harris said during a victory speech in Wilmington, Del., “I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Lin said she was doing laundry when the news broke.

“I just remember having goosebumps,” Lin said. “It was kind of numb. I was initially feeling the goosebumps and not exactly how to respond because it’s been quite a time for years.”

Calling Harris, a “cultural legacy,” not just because of her heritage, but also having attended Howard University, a historically Black college has produced many distinguished politicians and intellectuals.

Harris called attention to Black women, Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women who throughout the nation’s history have paved the way for her victory, saying they are the “backbone” of democracy.

Environmental systems and sustainability major Abby Lucas, a sophomore, said it will be nice to have someone in government who reflects her own gender.

“It’s kind of hard picturing me growing up being able to be in a job at that position because I’ve only ever seen men in that position,” Lucas said. “So, seeing a woman finally, it gives me hope.”

She said she hopes that Harris will inspire other children and women across the country to maybe do the same.

“I think it’s shattered the glass ceiling,” she said. “That’s one of the highest places – if a woman can be there then she can be anywhere.”

Justin Gendron, president of College Democrats, said Harris being named vice president-elect is a good first step.

While he wasn’t a supporter of Harris in the primaries, he still prefers her over Donald Trump.

“She mentioned [in her speech] trans women of color, she mentioned how people are disproportionally affected by all these policies,” Gendron said. “So, I think it’s a great first step. That was the first time either gay people or trans people, especially trans women of color have been mentioned in a vice-presidential speech.”

Despite not necessarily agreeing with all her policies, Gendron said having a woman as vice president will help break the glass ceiling, setting no limits on what little girls believe they can achieve when they grow up.

“A little girl can look at her government and see her reflected,” he said.

While a woman is yet to take on the role of president, Lin said she sees it happening in the future.

She said there’s excitement that came with Harris being on the ticket and the fact that Joe Biden, a staple in D.C. politics, was willing to take a chance on her.

While women have been in politics for a long time, Harris will be the first to hold one of the highest-ranking positions in government.

“It’s monumental,” Lin said. “There’s really no other way to put it.”

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