Student body reacts to 2016 presidential election results


(Photo: Mallory Dirks/The Simpsonian)

by Ashley Smith, Editor-in-Chief

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Simpson College students have differing views on the results of the presidential election in which Republican Donald Trump emerged victorious but agree the violence and name calling in politics needs to stop.

Freshman Cole Tramp said he voted for Trump because he didn’t like Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, and his political views align with the Republican Party.

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Trump,” Tramp said. “(Clinton) was just someone who continually lies and has been in a position of power and hasn’t done a whole lot I didn’t support.”

Senior Trevor McKee voted for Trump because he thought the political outsider was the best option out of the two candidates.

“I didn’t completely agree with everything on his platform and I didn’t agree with him, but I agreed with him more than I agreed with Hillary,” McKee said.

“At the end of the day, no matter who the president is, yeah, they have control and power, but it’s not a complete dictatorship. It’s really how the people respond… how the presidents themselves respond to the feedback they get, and I feel like Trump has a lot of work to do with what he says.”

Junior Aliya Ryan said it’s the duty of the American people to respect the president of the United States.

“I think the violence and the negativity in this country right now is over the top,” she said. “And I wish it wasn’t and I understand, but I wish people would understand their duty as Americans to be respectful at least, and rioting and being radical isn’t going to change the outcome of the election.”

Nontraditional student Matthew Haynie said he’s seen a lot of name calling from the Democrats during this election.

“I really think that liberals who call us uneducated, call us ignorant, call us misogynists and bigots and every word in the book… That is just stirring the pot, and if they continue doing so, they’re going to see (Trump) win the nomination and you’re going to see him win the election again in another four years,” Haynie said.

He said if liberals want to change America, the best way is to stop name calling and try to rally around a compromise.

Sophomore Liz Nimmo, a Clinton supporter, said she’s worried about her friends who are minorities after the election results.

“I’m worried about my friends in the LGBTQ community, my disabled friends and their safety and, personally, as a woman, I feel unsafe in a sense that I feel as though I’m not welcome in Trump’s America. AndI feel as though I don’t have a place here and that my concerns and my health as a woman do not matter. And I think that’s the message the nation sent when they voted for Trump,” Nimmo said.

The attendees of a post-election conversation with college President Jay Simmons on Nov. 10 echoed these sentiments.

About 200 students, faculty and staff met in the Principal Black Box to discuss the election results.

Simmons opened the conversation saying: “Our purpose today is not to talk about why anyone voted for any particular candidate. The reason we are here is to talk about how we go forward and help each other and recognize that we as a community have values that we need to commit ourselves to, and we need to support each other through a time of transition.”

Simmons went on to read Simpson’s inclusion policy.

“There are people around our country right now, and I hope not many, but I know some of them are on our campus, who are nervous, who worry about their future and wonder about their place in the community. First and foremost, any of you at Simpson College can rest assured that we will stand by these words and that this is one place where we will value each other first and foremost and above all else,” Simmons said.

About 27 students, staff and faculty discussed their fears of oppression, the notion of privilege and what to do to moving forward.

Freshman Amir Suljic, who is a Muslim, told the story of his family immigrating to the United States from Bosnia in a time of Muslim genocide. He said instead of being fearful, he’s hopeful that Americans can come back from this election.

“I don’t blame anyone who voted for Trump for why they voted for Trump… and to call all of these people racist, misogynistic, because they voted for this man, to me, is not what this country needs at the moment. I think we all need to move on.”

Sophomore Cecilia Martinez shared her fear of living in a country with Trump as president and also being an undocumented immigrant and identifying as queer.

“The whole mash up of everything I am, I’m kind of the poster child for everything Trump does not like,” Martinez said. “There is a fear of physical safety for a lot of people and not knowing how people are going to react.

Martinez said not to turn away from who you are, whether you’re a part of the LGBT community, a minority, part of a nondominant religion or have a disability.

“Know that there are people here for you, and at some point, hopefully, we’ll overcome this. But right now it’s important to validate people and know that it’s going to take time, Simmons said.”

“I’m not going to tell you that it’s going to be OK,” he added. “I don’t know that it will be. But I can tell you that this college will live up to those values in that statement.”

There are support services available to students on campus who feel they need it. Counseling Services is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sexual Assault Response Advocates are available 24/7 by calling or texting 515-330-6392.