Election results spur varied reactions, campus events

Gabrielle Wilkosz & Jacob Rogers

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Following Donald J. Trump’s win of the presidency early this morning, reactions on campus and across the city have ranged from shock and confusion to excitement and joy.

In response, several on-campus organizations have put forth community events, support groups and prayer services.

Student Affairs will host a post-election reflection on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. The event aims to engage students in a healthy dialogue after a bitter election season, said Vice President for Student Affairs Lisa Kirkpatrick.

“Some people are happy and other people are experiencing something different,” Kirkpatrick said. “How do we move forward?”

Residence Director Matthieu Hertilus sent an email to his on-campus apartment residents, offering himself as a source of support.

“Feel free to drop in or schedule an appointment, and I’ll be more than willing to be a listening ear, and, if need be, point you in the direction of additional resources on campus,” Hertilus said.

On the other side of campus, students gathered at the university seal at noon for a prayer for the nation. The event, which was attended by faculty, students and administrators, had been organized within hours after the election and advertised on Facebook.

Still, some students went about their Wednesday business as usual.

Sophomore Christian Notte, who has an on-campus job at the Alumni Gym, said he’s still trying to sort through the results of last night’s election.

“I haven’t had enough time to process my emotions,” Notte said. “I honestly thought Clinton would win.”

Despite what he called, “unexpected” election results, the humanities major is hopeful for the future of the nation.

“I feel we need to be a people of hope and change,” Notte said. “We can make the best of it. No matter what happens we need to come together as one, united. For us as a country as a whole, but also for the community.”

Junior Carla Colacion has taken a different approach, saying St. Edward’s students should accept the results and move on.

“A lot of people are really upset and sad to an extreme extent,” Colacion said. “We have no control at this point.”

Colacion, who prefaced that her mother is an immigrant, said a lot of people are worried about minorities, LGBT members and immigrants under a Trump presidency when they shouldn’t be.

“You can’t take it personally,” she said. “Yes, [Trump’s statements] look bad, but you don’t have to generalize yourself to the population.”

Justin Cope, an adjunct professor of linguistics, was on the University of Texas at Austin’s campus earlier this morning before he arrived at St. Edward’s.

“It was a ghost town,” Cope said. “Everyone was absent. In mourning or hungover or both.”

On the south lawn of the UT tower, Cope said he saw several students, professors and activist groups, including Black Lives Matter, LGBT, Latino groups, gather in solidarity.

“I’m disappointed, obviously,” Cope said. “But I’m hopeful that young people in the country will take this to heart and over the next 2 to 4 years people will find ways to get involved to help refugees, immigrants, and others… get organized and work towards change.”

Senior Angel Fierro was content with Trump’s victory but wants to be there for those that disagree and feel discouraged.

“My general reaction would be to encourage them, to bring them hope,” Fierro said. “Instead of voicing my opinion on why Trump was the best [candidate], I listened to their concerns to bring them to a state where they were calmer.”

Fierro believes Trump’s presidency will have an impact on the economy and says our nation will not be perfect overnight. Fierro is the President of the Jewish Studies Academic Club and said one of the reasons she voted for Trump is for the security of Israel.

She said in her own experience, she has faced derogatory comments in class and on social media but has a thick skin.

“I’m asking for the students in our community to look for ways to encourage others, because right now we are not just judged as [party affiliates], but we’re part of a community that promotes respect and unity,” Fierro said.

According to Campus Ministry, many people have reached out. To help ease anxiety, Campus Ministry had already planned in advance a Red Bench Interfaith conversation about civility also on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the CSC Community Room attached to the Chapel.

Campus Ministry’s flier read: “In the aftermath of a hostile election cycle, following the footsteps of racism, shootings and other types of violence over the past year, how do we move forward as a united people?”

The the Health and Counseling Center are also listening to students as they share what their needs are in this experience, said Calvin Kelly, director of the HCC.

“We are also involved in a number of discussions about the best way to allow students the opportunity to grieve and celebrate this election that is respectful of all our human dignity,” Kelly said.

Offering another way for students to destress, campus yoga instructor Brontë Treat teamed up with Director of Campus Recreation Andy Lemons to offer tonight’s 7 p.m. yoga class to the public, free of charge.

Treat said she feels more sad than stressed, and is concerned about the impact a Trump presidency will have on St. Edward’s international community, in particular, if it will deter students from abroad.

“I’m scared that students won’t want to come here anymore. One of the coolest parts about our school is how diverse and inclusive it is of other cultures,” Treat said. “I think that we are supposed to be leaders on the world stage, and this shows the world that we are not being progressive.”

Brother Gerald Muller has taken a different approach — one of prayer and humor.

“We’re doomed,” Muller joked. “Putin will be Secretary of State.”

Pointing to a small black ribbon pinned beneath his cardigan, the brother said he is in a state of mourning and prayer since results of the election were announced.

“I’m going to pray a lot for this country and for deliverance from evil,” Muller said. “All we have left is God’s grace, hope, and humor.”