The Multicultural Center in the Memorial Union hosted an evening of support, discussion and reflection following the outcome of the presidential election. Students and faculty discussed what America under a Donald Trump presidency would mean for them.
“It’s brought a lot of fear and a lot of confusion,” said Mwape Mwanakatwe, “Today was definitely the most terrifying experience,” she continued. The Multicultural Center set out to create an open and safe environment for all students and faculty in attendance. Students expressed a need for a place to openly speak on the election. “It was a great and effective event, it’s just good to see there’s support like this on campus. We can only hope for the best now,” said Chuck Madu, a senior in engineering. Sandra Alvrez believed the event succeeded in bringing together those who may have felt alone at this time. She stressed it would have made more of an impact if people who are not minorities participated in the conversation.
Other students weighed in on the steps the university and privileged persons need to take in order for all students to feel safe and welcome. “I think it’s an education on which ever side of the fence you lie on,” said Benjamin Kwasa, “If the people who represent the university as a whole don’t feel like it’s something to be addressed, it becomes very difficult to get change to be implemented at the ground level where each student is having their day to day activities take place,” he continued.
Student Government President Cole Staudt encouraged Caucasian students to voice their support for minorities on campus. “I want to be, and I am an ally for everyone who is not coming from a place of privilege,” he said. Staudt expressed his sadness when hearing about the experiences of other students in attendance. “It’s horrible to see the students that I represent feeling this way and not feeling safe on their own campus.” Staudt said.
The Multicultural Center encourages all students and faculty in need of support to make use of their services.