Campus Reacts to Trump Victory

New York City - NY - USA - September 3 2015: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures emphatically during press conference at Trump Tower to announce he has signed a pledge not to run as an independent candidate

Photographer

New York City - NY - USA - September 3 2015: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures emphatically during press conference at Trump Tower to announce he has signed a pledge not to run as an independent candidate

Nathan Amundson

Since Donald Trump was named President-Elect early in the morning of November 9, reaction on campus has ranged from celebration to horror to apathy and indifference. The wide-ranging responses tended to include a common undertone, however small, of optimism that the polarized rhetoric of the past year might be coming to an end.

The political and social tension present in this election season precipitated acts of vandalism toward the bridge panels of several student groups, including the College Republicans, Muslim Student Association, and Multicultural Student Center.

On November 9, the University of Minnesota’s Vice President of Equity and Diversity, Katrice Albert, sent out an email to address that underlying tension present for the past several months. Opening with the line: “Like many of you, I am processing the divisiveness that has characterized the prolonged election season, and am working to understand how it will impact our communities, our university, our nation and our world,” Albert spoke about working together to create a campus community based on inclusion and mutual respect.

In addition to the University’s reaction, many groups on campus have held events dedicated to discussing and absorbing the results of the election, such as La Raza’s post-election discussion and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ event “A Race Gender Dialogue on the 2016 Election”. Additionally, a group of academic centers and offices held “a post-election space focused on self-care and dialogue.” Other student groups and academic departments are holding post-election events over the rest of the week, the dates and times of which are listed on the University of Minnesota Events Calendar. A protest against Trump led by Socialist Alternative MN is covered in a separate article.

Several people near the Washington Avenue bridge on November 10 additionally had signs that said “This is not a place for hatred. This campus values all who are here.” Signage such as this, along with the popular “Love Trumps Hate” signs held by liberal political activists this election season, are aimed at the President-Elect and statements he has made on immigration and crime. Signs in support of Trump are entirely absent on the campus itself.

Some opponents of Trump have taken a different stance on his election, such as the President of College Libertarians, Kal Randa. “Now that it’s over, I prefer to be optimistic. Under this very differenct president, policies and the face of America will change in unforeseen ways, and that’s exciting and scary.” This same uneasy optimism was present in many of the students I talked to, only a handful of whom voted for Trump.

Despite underlying tensions, the community on campus is looking for ways to come together and has not been fundamentally altered by the election results. Only time will tell what the true effects of a Trump presidency will be.