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Minority Students Reflect on Trump’s Election Win

Students gathered in the Kelly Commons to watch the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump earlier this semester. Aaron Mayorga/The Quadrangle

On Nov. 9, America woke up with a new president-elect. After Trump’s win, a significant amount of the country was heavily affected. More so, minorities across the nation feared for their future.

In the midst of all the uncertainty, Hayden Greene, director of multicultural affairs, had the doors of the Multicultural Center open for all.

“Everything we’ve seen around the country and in the city doesn’t permeate in our campus.  We believe in an inclusive community and society and we want our students to recognize that. We will protect them, all identities have a place to grow and be strong here” Greene said.

Manhattan College is often advertised as an “inclusive community” and it has certainly proven itself after this presidential election outcome. Not only faculty, but also students have been involved in making Manhattan College a safe campus.

Olivia Gartland, a sophomore Marketing and CIS major, has been working closely with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to aid the needs of those affected the most.

“We’re running a ‘call to compassion’ campaign to spread love not hate around this campus and to help everyone, including minorities, to feel in unison with their classmates and other students on campus” Gartland said.

The ‘call to compassion’ campaign resembles the ‘subway therapy’ project downtown that consists of people writing their thoughts and feelings on a sticky note and posting it on a wall, in this case, the students are posting their notes on the walls of the Social Action Suite on the Kelly Commons building.

“Our mission is to use our Lasallian values and make the best we can out of the election outcome, this is a time for us to step up our game and help those on campus who feel oppressed” Gartland said.

Some of the minorities targeted by Trump have been Blacks, Latinos and the LGBTQ community. A series of interviews revealed how those minority students felt on campus.

“As a gay man, I was terrified. I thought of conversion therapy, the discrimination, and the harassment… In that moment, I feared for myself, I feared for the wellbeing of my partner” said a sophomore student who preferred to remain unnamed.

The student, clearly shaken, went home to vote and returned to school early morning.

“I felt sick. America has an incredible amount of work to do but Americans need to realize that fighting for what is right is equally as important as forgiving one another” he said.

As the anonymous source shared, many minority students were feeling down. Not only they feared for their own life but also their friends’ back home.

Fery Lee Corney, a sophomore electrical engineering major, still feels unsure on how his life as a Black man will be affected by Trump’s win.

“Right now, it’s not affecting me that much, I see it has affected some of my friends, both here and back home. It wasn’t the outcome everyone was looking forward to but it happened” Corney said.

Corney was one of those students who decided to remain in between the spectrum. He did vote but didn’t share his political views.

“I don’t know how it’s gonna affect minorities, to be honest. This election broke everyone apart” Corney said.

Natalia Alvarez, a sophomore International Studies major, is concerned about the economy. As a Latina, she understands the effect Trump can have on both her financial status and culture.

“I am worried that Trump will only look out for the well being of the top 1% of the country, I was definitely hoping to have our first woman president, not a man who has said offensive things about women and minorities” Alvarez said.

For Alvarez, there’s still hope in the future as the younger generation voted Democrat.

As an inclusive community Manhattan College is accepting and welcoming all points of views, only if they are being presented in a respectful manner.

“It doesn’t mean that people can’t have opinions or disagree with each other. One of the messages of the Multicultural Center is the ability to have discourse without being discordant” Greene said.

There’s many resources on campus for students who have been affected. The Counseling Center, the Multicultural Center, Social Action and/or volunteering opportunities.

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