This past week has been rife with pain and anguish for an overwhelming majority of our community in light of our alumna’s, Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69, having lost the presidential election. President Elect Donald J. Trump’s win has left many feeling hopeless as a result of the rhetoric utilized throughout his campaign, which promoted racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and a variety of other issues. This rhetoric does not at all align with the values that I, as your Multicultural Affairs Coordinator (MAC), have been tasked with promoting, including multicultural understanding, diversity and inclusion.
Trump’s win, for many, has increased their sense of fear and distrust of the American people. I have heard my peers speak about their fear that their family members and close friends would be deported due to their undocumented status. I have heard them speak about their concerns regarding their sense of place as women in science, technology, finance and other fields that have historically been dominated by men. I have heard my siblings of African descent express their fears of walking alone after nightfall due to last week’s events and devise a buddy system plan in order to protect themselves from those who may come to our campus with malice.
These fears are real fears and they are justified.
Since last Tuesday’s election, I have seen the Wellesley community come together to grieve and heal. Last Wednesday, the Dean of Students and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life held an open forum for community members to discuss their hopes and fears as a result of the election and recenter. On Thursday, College Government (CG) Cabinet organized an event for students to join in a safe space to share their concerns and hopes. CG has created a poster for students to share these concerns with the larger Wellesley community, which can be found in the campus center. On Friday, President Paula Johnson organized a Peace Walk for students to reclaim our space, which was violated last week when two students from Babson College attempted to instill a sense of fear in our community acting in a manner that does not meet the community standards of our community or that of Babson College.
In closing, I would like to provide you all with my own hopes for our community. I hope that our campus, at this time, will endeavor to better understand people whose opinions may not be the same as their own. I hope that we will uphold the three values set forth in our Honor Code of honesty, integrity and respect. I hope that we will not retaliate against those who are different from us, but that we will find a means by which we could articulate, through the knowledge and education Wellesley has provided us in the classroom and outside, why their actions are harmful. I hope that we will not allow this election to get the best of us and that we will work harder to see to it that our personal beliefs are reflected in our society. I, most importantly, hope that we will remember to support one another. That support means being there for our siblings when they can’t be there for themselves. It means showing up for them when they hold events pertaining to their respective cultures. It means speaking up for love and progress in our classrooms, our organizational meetings, in conversations with our loved ones, our workplaces, and all other arenas.
I send strength to those of you who, like me, are still grappling with the aftermath of the election results and hope that you all are taking care.