By Jamie Fleming
When Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States, Stonehill students felt the same roller coaster of emotions experienced by others in the country.
“I stayed up watching the news until 4 in the morning. When I first heard he won, I didn’t believe it at all. Then the next day I woke up, I was just sad,” sophomore Francesca Rizzo said.
Other students around campus felt the same feeling Rizzo experienced.
“I’m worried about our global representation more so than our domestic problems right now,” sophomore political science major, Tyler Hanlon said. “I feel like these protests and marches will fizzle out but there has been a lot of foreign leaders who are worried about working with Trump.”
Hanlon said he does not know how the people of the United States let Trump get this far in the political process.
There were some polarized opinions on campus when it came to Trump being nominated.
Sophomore Megan Tryder said she felt the election made it apparent that our nation is still working on long-running issues.
“I was heartbroken. It was truly a surprise; I didn’t think America would elect someone like that,” sophomore Megan Tryder said. “I had thought we were moving in the right direction of becoming somewhere that was more inclusive and having equality for all people.”
Tryder said she is worried about what the future holds.
“I’m obviously worried about my rights as a woman… I think my biggest worry would be the environment because Trump denies that climate change is real. With America being one of the leading nations in regards to clean energy and fighting human caused climate change, that could spell a really big issue for the next generation,” said Tryder.
However, other students on campus, were relieved with the election of Donald Trump.
“When Trump won me and my entire family were overwhelmed with relief. America needs a change and hopefully he will give us that. For those who support Hillary, I’m sorry but he won fair and square. Now we have to come together as Americans and stand by our president. He did not come to power by overthrowing Obama, he won through the power of a democracy,” said senior Marissa Rosati.
Sophomore Jason Comeau said he was thrilled with the election results.
“When I heard Trump won, I was elated. I couldn’t have been happier. I stayed up until he received the call from Hillary because I couldn’t believe it,” Comeau said.
He said the results were a shock for so many people since the silent majority has stayed with Trump for a while and they weren’t as vocal to overcome the negative attention that came with being a Trump supporter.
To create an open discussion on the topic, professors reached out to their students in class.
“I’m a political science major and my teachers talked about it in all of my classes. One of them was surprised at the outcome and was almost embarrassed for the nation because of the things that he has said and for all of these people to vote him into office. Its saddening,” Hanlon said.
“Two of my professors reached out to our class, both of them were crying… people got to talk about their feelings and their worries and fears… one of my professors is a minority and she was very heartbroken that America still felt that way towards minorities,” Tryder said.
Stonehill’s Race and Racism class this week was dedicated to discussing the election, Rizzo said. The professor of the class, Megan Mitchell, wrote three key points of discussion on the board. Emotional validation regardless of opinion, the good and bad consequences from the election, and moving forward.
As for moving forward and picking up the pieces, students at Stonehill have a lot to say.
“I think he answer is clear; we need to come together under President Trump…. He has the true values that a lot of people in this country do have, he will work for the majority of the people and do what’s best fort he country not what’s best for the few,” Hanlon said.
“Both sides have to come together and respect that he won, they have to come together and try to work collaboratively with him to pass sound legislation,” Hanlon said.
“Its definitely an uphill fight for the democratic party but through compromise and hopefully some rationale, there can be group work.”
Stonehill allowed students to reach out and express their opinions through prayer and through a post election healing and hope space at the Office of Intercultural Affairs.
While Stonehill students worked together, across the nation, hundreds protested the results of the election chanting “not my president,” or “we do not accept the president elect.”
“I think that rejecting him as our president is almost counterintuitive. We would never have a unified nation; rather than rejecting him, we have to accept him as our president but under the recognition that there are things that can be done to promote positive change,” Rizzo said.
“What’s done is done and now we have to move on. We’re all in it together at this point, you’re not a Trump supporter or Hillary supporter anymore. You can’t hope that Trump fails as a president because you’re in America too,” he said.