Presidential Election Shocker: Trump’s Stunning Upset Leads To Students And Administration Response

November 15, 2016

By Melissa Rohman and Marty Carlino

On Nov. 9, GOP nominee Donald Trump defeated Sec. Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. Per official election results, Trump defeated Clinton with a victory of 290 electoral votes to her 228 electoral votes. However, Clinton managed to win the popular vote by roughly 400,000 votes.

The shocking results prompted an immediate response from both Dominican students and university officials.

In an email sent to all Dominican students, faculty, and staff on Nov. 9, President Donna Carroll attempted to reassure the Dominican community in light of the nation’s new president-elect.

Carroll said: “In this time of uncertainty and worry for many in our own community, we need to come together as a Dominican family, firm in our belief in the dignity of each individual member and committed to supporting each other and the values that we share – truth, compassion, justice, in solidarity with those in distress.”

A day after Carroll’s email, Dean of Students Trudi Goggin addressed students, faculty and staff in an email of her own. She informed the Dominican community that campus resources, open forums and places for safe and inclusive discussion, prayer services and open hours at the Wellness Center would be available for all to help cope with thoughts, emotions, and feelings of fear and distress triggered by the election results.

Goggin said: “The coming weeks will provide opportunities for our campus community to come together in a spirit of Caritas et Veritas. We are confident that we can continue to support each other and recognize the inherent dignity and value of each person.”

Dominican students, also sparked by the stunning results of the presidential election, which saw Trump alter the landscape of American politics, headed down to Trump Tower the evening of Nov. 9 to protest the results.

Junior Anissa Vega, Co-President of Dominican’s Organization of Latin American students (OLA), junior Alondra Cárdenas admin of the Humans of Dominican Facebook page and sophomore Dustin Stidmon, a Dominican student who identifies with the LGBTQA+ community, joined hundreds of others from around the state in a peaceful protest in downtown Chicago.

Dominican students were all motivated to protest the results for different reasons.

“What drove me to go to Wednesday night’s protest down town was my frustration, my disappointment but most importantly my support to those who belong in the communities that are being constantly attacked and shut down,” Cárdenas said.

“I identify with the LGBTQA+ community and this election has taken a toll on me more than I anticipated,” Stidmon said. “To know that our vice president elect does not support the LGBTQ community, I feel like were taking a leap backwards. We won’t be moving forward. The rights and the quality that is started to progress will be put on a back burner.

In addition to various motivations, the students also cited their biggest takeaways from the evening.

“Personally, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you cannot forget that we are all human beings, and I’m saying this directly to those who have been effected by this election,” Vega said. It’s been really hard, and the reason why I feel like it’s been so easy for Trump supporter and people of privilege to stereotype and stigmatize people is because they look at us as if we are just objects, as if we can be get rid of. It puts us at greater risk to be prone to experiencing more violence. I feel like that we have to remember just how powerful we are, and whoever the President is, they can’t be the President without all of us.”

Cárdenas also added her thoughts about her biggest takeaway stating: “My biggest takeaway from everything that has been going on has been the fact that everyone is coming together. I think that this election was a huge wake up call to the many communities that are coming together and standing up for each other, which is what we should be doing all the time.”

The students also noted that demographics present. Vega stated that, “there were more White people than anyone else,” and “there were definitely more than 500 people there.”

The students also urged that they were more upset with what Trump represented more than him being elected.

“I’m more upset with what the election of Trump represents and not just the plain fact that he was elected President,” Stidmon said. “What he represents is xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, close mindedness, oppression, sexism, and racism, lack of experience.”

Although they know that these protests are unlikely to change the results, the students still felt their actions were warranted and necessary.

“There are many things that started from a simple protest,” Stidmon said. “A protest may not make immediate change today, or tomorrow, but it’s getting voices heard, it’s being proactive about situations. It’s called activism; when there is a problem or threat to society you have to stand up and do something about it.”

rohmmeli@my.dom.edu
carlmart@my.dom.edu