Presidential victory sparks campus discussion

By Ciera Cypert

Seismic waves of emotions surfaced on campus and across the country last week as the presidential election came to an end. After an unpredictable win by most data polls, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.

Students had much to say about the way their peers reacted, how they personally reacted and how they project Trump will do in office.

Sophomore business management major and Trump supporter Jacob Perrow said he had seen many students with mixed emotions.

“I feel like I’ve seen a lot more prayer groups on campus,” Perrow said. “I’ve heard, just walking by people, especially people who are minorities, getting choked up just talking about it, expressing their concerns. It’s bringing out the worst in a lot of people, but at the same time, it’s bringing out the best in some people who want to help and pray together and try to reconcile this.”

With a controversial campaign season, politics have been a topic of discussion both in and outside of classrooms. After Trump was announced president, conversations continued throughout the student body. Faculty, campus pastors and student organizations attempted to initiate relevant conversations throughout the season and even afterwards. On Friday, November 11, the SCRD office held a post-election event that allowed a larger space for students and employees to process the election.

Senior business management major Beth Lopez noticed frequent conversations between her and her close friends and the faculty and staff around her. Lopez, who voted for Hillary Clinton, was taken aback by the results of the election.

“Concerning the staff, everyone has been really kind and gracious and understanding that people are hurting right now,” Lopez said. “I think I didn’t prepare for the reality of him winning just because I didn’t expect that to happen. I was totally caught off guard that there was that much support for Trump in our country.”

Lopez, a Portland, Oregon native, said she was concerned about the riots that were caused in wake of Trump’s victory, especially those that took place in her hometown.

Riots and protests have taken place in major cities across the U.S. While some were peaceful, others required immediate police interference.

Trump responded to these riots by turning to Twitter, claiming that the protesters were “incited by the media” and called their protesting “very unfair.”

Austin Lozano, a senior political science major, expressed concern over the riots and how Trump was reacting to them.

“Nothing about his tweet is mean or bad or hateful, it just doesn’t seem like good leadership in my opinion,” Lozano said.

Lozano voted for Clinton and said he was surprised by Trump’s victory.

“I just couldn’t believe what had just happened because of all the polls and statistics before,” Lozano said. “I was very shocked, and it was very surreal to me.”

The drastic range of emotions from students showed diversity in political opinions found on campus.

Perrow stated that he was excited and happy at the results but was prepared for backlash from students on campus. However, Lopez expressed deep concern for the country and for the safety of her family. “It was wild,” Lopez said. “I never expected that. I’m scared for how people are treating each other already because there is such a divide.”

Sophomore accounting major Jake Van Baest, who did not vote in this election, said he is being optimistic about Trump’s victory.

“I think he is going to be very forceful and demand things to get done, because that’s his personality,” Van Baest said. “I’m hoping he does a good job for our sake.”

Van Baest stated that if he had voted, he would have voted for Trump. He said he remains hopeful because he thinks “hoping your President to be bad is like hoping your pilot will crash the plane that you’re on.”

Despite his shock, Lozano said he wanted to feel more hopeful than hopeless for the future of the United States.

“I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. Once he acts, then I’ll react,” Lozano said.

Lopez is not entirely optimistic, claiming she has no expectations.

“It will be interesting to see, because it’s hard to guess where this is going to go,” she said.