In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many students at Kent State made it publicly known they were disappointed by the president-elect, Donald Trump. This year, Kent State’s administration is trying to improve students’ response to the election.
A 2016 article written in response to former President Beverly Warren’s email about the election results addressed the concerns students had like Lama Abu-Amara, the then-president of the Muslim Students’ Association.
“The administration has not been very helpful,” Abu-Amara said. “Instead, we have been turning to faculty members.”
Many peaceful protests such as the “Wall of Love” and a sit-down on Risman Plaza happened on campus in 2016, but these were all started by student organizations.
This September, a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest occurred in response to the racist message painted on the rock, one of Kent State’s symbolic landmarks. Other demonstrations around the nation, such as the anti-mask protests, had some students worried about what might happen after the election.
“I do hear opinions from both sides, and they are not kind to each other,” sophomore architecture major Cole Sukys said. “But I do not believe that everyone is like that.”
In an email sent the night of the election, President Todd Diacon urged students to be peaceful and to make sure that Flashes Take Care of Flashes.
“If you are celebrating, do so safely by wearing a mask and by respecting the personal spaces and feelings of others. And if you are angry, look to see the humanity of those who voted differently than you did,” he said.
Kent State also created a post-election support page, a Flashes Take Care of Flashes effort started by the Division of Student Affairs.
With The Associated Press projecting former Vice President Joe Biden as the winner of the election, and President Donald Trump attempting to challenge the results, the process is far from over.
As of Sunday, no protests have occurred on Kent State’s campus as a result of the election.
Kent State is still looking out for students through the post-election support program, such as counselors whom are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events are planned such as a discussion about dealing with family during the holidays on Nov. 9 and a conflict management workshop over Zoom on Nov. 18.
The university says on the post-election support website that these events are a commitment to creating a supportive environment for all students, providing these resources till the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
Ben Vrobel covers administration. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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