Springfield College institution members react to Trump winning presidency

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Photo Courtesy of Sam Leventhal/The Student

It’s official. Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. After an election that provided news networks with record-breaking ratings and caused uproar across nearly an entire nation, we finally have a winner. Members of The Springfield Student staff—Shawn McFarland, Gage Nutter, Ali Izzi, Vin Gallo, Jill Campbell, and Greg Allen—spoke with many members of the institution to garner numerous reactions.

Shannon Finning – Vice President of Student Affairs

“To my students, my colleagues and my friends who are hurting, afraid, angry and/or cannot make sense of it, regardless of who you voted for or if you voted at all, I am here for you. You MATTER to me. To my Springfield College community, please come see me today or this week whenever you are ready, nothing is more important to me than supporting you. Please also know that all of the educators across the Division of Student Affairs are here for you – the Career Center, Campus Recreation, Counseling Center, Health Center, Housing and Residence Life, Spiritual Life, Student Activities, Student Affairs and Student Volunteer Programs – to listen without judgement, to walk with you and to find a way forward. We don’t have all the answers but you matter so much and we care about you so deeply. Please do not isolate, come be with us and allow us to be with you. Together we will find the way forward.”

Caitlin Worthington – Springfield Sophomore

“I feel scared about Trump winning. Not for what he is going to do to our country itself, but rather how he will shape the minds of the kids growing up in this era. I have never EVER been scared as a woman to have my rights taken away from me. And to have someone in office who does not believe that I should have these rights frightens me. What scares me is we have made so much progress and now what? 10 steps back? Yeah…10 steps back into the civil rights movement.”

Kevin Wall – Springfield Junior

“There are three things that I worried about the most: Illegal immigration, ISIS, and the economy. Those were the things Trump brought up the most. I can’t trust Hillary in the Middle East with the failed foreign policy as Secretary of State. Look at Benghazi for instance. It scared me when she said, “my dream is to have full open borders.” And seeing the debt rise in Obama’s term, how can I trust Hillary when she has the same economic policies as Obama.”

“Yes, I’m a Republican, but I support all races, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and if people got to know me, they would know that. I just wish everyone knew that we have a First Amendment, and that’s having freedom of speech. It’s okay to have different opinions.”

Calvin Hill

“As someone who is charged with, and speaks to creating inclusive communities, I realize that one of the key tenants to my work, especially on a college campus is celebrating diversity of thoughts. While Mr. Trump was not my candidate of choice, I recognize and accept the election results. As with any election, there is a winner, and a loser, and as such, one side does not get what they want.”

“I fear that we are taking a giant step backwards in terms of equality. While I am trying to understand the anger and frustration of those who voted for Mr. Trump, I am fearful that their anger and frustration comes from a place of fear of change. Eight years ago, many who felt the U.S. was theirs and theirs alone had a fairly significant reality check when they saw that those who had been marginalized or on the fringe had the power to elect a multi-racial candidate that spoke to the dreams and desires of all Americans, not just the privileged few. This reality for them has been swelling and Tuesday’s results are a bi-product of their fear.”

“I think when you look at his campaign there are a lot of things that he said just in bravado that constitutionally just can’t take place. What does concern me about the Trump presidency is that this was an important presidency not simply because of the ability to elect the first female president ever, but we are also looking at the Supreme Court. That is an area where he will have some lasting legacy. That concerns me for three reasons. One, the possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade. He could conceivably in two to three years push forward candidates that could change the court. We also look at marriage equity. He could conceivably nominate or get people on the Supreme Court that could overturn federal marriage equity. Not likely, but conceivably he could get a Supreme Court that would overturn the affordable care act that would take insurance away from many many people.”

“I truly believe that those individuals that voted for Trump are going to have a lot of disappointment. He’s not going to build a wall, he is not going to put Hillary Clinton in jail, he is not going to be able to change the course of where we are financially, we’ve already seen the market taking a pretty significant plunge since Trump’s being elected. I think that there’s going to be a lot of voter’s remorse over the next two to three years.”

“I am someone right now that is taking a mental health break. I have been someone that was following this presidential election extremely keenly over the last year and a half. So one of the things I’ve had to do is figure out how I can have peace and sanity during this time period. I’ve decided to take the noise away. I’m making a commitment for a week, to not watch television, to not get on social media and to not read about this election. I would encourage anyone that is struggling right now is to take time for them. Once they’ve done that then I think the goal is to say okay maybe I’m not going to have the presidential candidate and/or president that sees the world the way I see it, but you can still be involved. What I would tell people to do is to stay active because their voice still matters, their vote still counts, we have a Congressional election in two years, so stay involved.”

Kerri O’Rourke – Springfield Sophomore

“I’m not happy and neither are any of my teachers and they all cancelled class. [America] is not going to be great again. [Trump] needs to calm down, he needs to make up his mind on all his decisions, for example abortion. I think everything is just going to be a big fight now.”

Elle Warick – Springfield Junior

“I think it is a great step in the right direction. He is a business man, and he will assume America as his business now. He will make deals that will benefit the U.S., and hopefully that will begin to alleviate some of our debt. Donald Trump is also concerned with national security. With all the threats from ISIS and the way our world is today, it is important that we regulate who is coming in and out of our country.”

“Honestly, it’s amazing how many vicious, demeaning posts I have seen from people in regards to the presidential election. I know there is always controversy, but this year was ridiculous. There were times when I felt like I was being attacked for being a Trump supporter. Just because I am supporting Trump does not make me a racist. I simply believe he has more to offer our country than Hillary does.”

Drew Broffman – Springfield Junior

“I went to bed anxious, and, well, I woke up this morning, and it took me a few minutes to grasp who our new President is. As I listened to the roaring wind outside my window, I could hear the echo of my ancestors saying,” Never again.” And I have nothing to say back to them. I sit here and think about how blessed I am. I’m privileged in the fact my life won’t change all that much. But so many lives in other communities will change. All I can do is say that I tried and pray for the ones who will truly be affected by this shift in power.”

Zane Kagan – Springfield Sophomore

            “I feel like Trump is way better than Hillary Clinton, but at the same time I still wouldn’t vote for Trump. How did we get to this point?”

Morgan Devine

“You honestly had to pick the better of two evils in this situation. I feel that Trump is the lesser evil. I wouldn’t say he’s the most qualified, but I definitely think he will get things done that need to be done. The military is a very important part of my family. Trump is 100 percent in support of our troops, which Hillary is not. Illegal immigrants should not be receiving more support than people who have served this country. The fact that she allowed four Americans to die in Benghazi after they pleaded for her assistance shows she does not care.”

“Hillary is also all about ‘respecting women,’ but she went along with the fact her husband cheated on her. How can she be all about respecting women if she can’t even respect herself? Not to mention, nothing Trump has done has threatened national security and put American lives at risk. I’m not saying Trump is a saint whatsoever, because he is not. Trump says stupid things most definitely, and he’s kind of an a**, but he happens to have every positive attribute that Hillary lacks.”

Sylvia Mitus – Springfield Junior 

            “It’s definitely scary to me. I didn’t vote for Hillary. I voted third party, but I was kind of pulling for Hillary because I do not like Trump. I’m honestly kind of scared to see what the future holds with Trump as president. I feel like it will be hit or miss, but the miss will be really bad.”

Tim Allen – Professor of Business

“The country has spoken, it is the beauty of democracy, everyone’s vote counts. Many people are worried about his presidency, but when you are president, you are president of everybody, and it is important that he be a unifier and not a divider.”

Kharlin Miles – Springfield Senior

“I’m nervous about the next four years because the lack of an efficient plan and experience the candidate is bringing to the table. Everyone is in an emotional uproar. Also, the stuff he says is very disrespectful to certain communities and would be unprofessional given his job.”

Whit DeVaux – Springfield Junior

            “I feel satisfied. I feel America chose the lesser of two evils, and overall made the right choice. I truly believe that if we want to get back on track as a country, Donald Trump is our guy.”

“I hope to see Trump bring us back from the economic debt that we have. It would be impossible for him to completely erase the debt, but I feel he could make strides in the right direction. I would love to see him improve our National security, making us feel like the great power of the world again. One last thing: I realize over the campaign he made very rude and inappropriate remarks. Trying to have an optimistic outlook, I really hope he cleans himself up as our commander and chief. I hope that now that he isn’t fighting for the position he’ll take a step back, and try to grow up a little.”

 David McMahon

“To be honest, I feel tired.  This has been a particularly long and contentious election season; wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it has been painful to watch events unfold, to see a country so divided and seemingly unable to find common ground, or respect our common humanity.  That being said, while I feel tired, I am also aware that an election is but the beginning of the work, not only for those who will govern in the coming years, but for each and every one of us. Regardless of winner or loser in the presidential bid, what this election season has unearthed is that there are major issues causing profound pain in the lives of many Americans, and that we, as a country and as smaller communities, still have not found a way to speak across difference… or, more importantly, to listen across our differences.  As an educator, this saddens me. It also challenges me to try to do a better job in working with students and in communities toward rediscovering shared values and that common humanity.
I am very privileged and humbled because of my job.  I cannot or should not remain in an insular corner of political or philosophical thought; to do my job well, I have to be open to and respect the values and beliefs of others. This isn’t easy; this often causes my head to hurt and entails that I offer support for those with whom I, personally, disagree.  But it makes me realize we are all flawed and imperfect in our beliefs and perceptions, and also that we all are passionate and committed to the causes and people in our lives that make them worth living. It is lazy and morally bankrupt to write off “the other.”  Or, as a former student recently reminded me, in the words of theologian Miroslav Wulf, “Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners.”
As I said before, I hope that through the smoke of the election season, we can begin to see some of the fire that is causing pain in our country. I hope that those who have not felt heard, find their voice.  This election has revealed fundamental divisions in our society; for both major parties, this is a moment of crisis.  I hope we move past despair and anger to meaningful debate and principled opposition. I thought it fitting that Secretary Clinton referenced Galatians in her concession speech: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” The best case here is that no one loses heart. Each of us can directly effect change in our communities, often in ways the President or Congress of the United States of America cannot. But we cannot do that by excluding the humanity of others and not owning up to our own failings. I hope we all engage more — with the causes that inspire or incite us, with our local government, with charities, and, yes, even with the next election. But most of all, I hope we engage, meaningfully, with each other.

Eileen McGowan – Professor of Science

“I am not surprised, but I am disappointed. I think there is a distinct possibility that we will stop all the environmental initiatives that have been put in place. We have not gone far enough in terms of bettering the environment, but I feel we will be making even less progress which is very scary because our agriculture and many other things that people don’t always think about will be greatly affected.”

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