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Friday, March 24, 2017

Otterbein students and administrators weigh election results

In the days following the presidential election of Donald Trump, college students seek to openly discuss election results and come together.

On Facebook, the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center responded to Trump’s election by hosting an informal gathering the day after the election to offer “stacks, support, connection, safety, belonging, trust and everything we need right now” according to an email sent to all students by Otterbein Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Bob Gatti.

Otterbein students found social issues coming to light in discussions across campus.

“There are a lot of controversial discussions going on between what people believe and what’s actually going to happen in relation to racial issues, the LBGTQIA+ community and issues with other minority groups,” said Katie Cerqua, a junior art major at Otterbein University.

With social issues coming to the forefront after Trump’s election, students on campus are hoping to see people come together, rather than divide themselves.

“I think it’s gotten so divided that we can’t talk about anything anymore without people being attacked,” said Lincoln Belford, a first-year musical theater major at Otterbein. “Hopefully we can get back to a point where we can discuss things civilly and disagree peacefully.”

While there have been no public protests on Otterbein’s campus, protests on other college campuses, such as Ohio State University, show the divide created by the election cycle.

The political activism taken on by the students reflects back onto other members of Otterbein’s community.

“I would like to really see us think about ways that we can use our disappointment and our frustration, however rife that that may be, to strengthen our community," said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl at the Nov. 9 Senate meeting, during an address on the three-credit standard.

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