East Lansing— One week after President-elect Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, students gathered at Michigan State University’s student union to eat pizza, write about how they felt and talk about what happened.
“It was hard, and I felt very alone,” said Allison Bell, a freshman from Chicago. “I have extended family nearby and I was going to stay with them. But due to differing political views, it is kind of hard to find comfort with them even though there is a lot of love.”
A few days later, University of Michigan students walked out of classes and spilled onto streets, demanding the campus be made more of a “sanctuary” as they protested classism, sexism, discrimination and ethnic intimidation.
A few weeks before, Eastern Michigan University students gathered to talk about racist graffiti that emerged on campus buildings.
Students and sometimes university staff are creating areas — sometimes known as safe spaces — to work through issues that are reverberating through college campuses in Michigan and nationwide. From the outcome of the presidential election, to racist and violent incidents on campus, students are creating places to process, protest, organize and find ways to move on.
Some colleges, such as Brown University, have set aside safe spaces with coloring books, cookies and Play-Doh…
Colleges Try to Comfort Students Upset by Trump Victory
Dozens of students at Cornell University gathered on a major campus thoroughfare for a “cry-in” to mourn the results of the 2016 presidential election Wednesday, with school staff providing tissues and hot chocolate.
At Tufts University, arts and crafts were on offer. And the University of Kansas reminded students via social media of the therapy dogs available for comfort every other Wednesday.
The touchy-feely approach won some catty comments from skeptics, calling students “snow-flakes” for their inability to handle the result. But schools said the concerns were real for many students.
“People are frustrated, people are just really sad and shocked,” said Trey Boynton, the director of multi-ethnic student affairs at the University of Michigan. “A lot of people are feeling like there has been a loss. We talked about grief today and about the loss of hope that this election would solidify the progress that was being made.”