The reactions to Donald Trump’s victory last week were as diverse as they were dramatic.
President Barack Obama’s former adviser, Van Jones, called Trump’s election a “white-lash.” Supporters at Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters were weeping, according to the Daily Mail. But few reactions were as unique or varied as those of American college students.
Here are how administrators and students on seven different college campuses responded to Trump’s election:
Students at the Ivy League university staged a “cry-in” following Clinton’s defeat at a Planned Parenthood Generation Action-sponsored event. Students dressed in black as they held signs that read things like “He’s not my president.” According to The Cornell Review, the Facebook post for the event read, in part:
Today we cry, but tomorrow we’ll fight against bigotry, racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-semitism, ableism, sexual assault, restrictive immigration policies, etc etc.
The weapon we have is love (and activism, and rallies, and protests, and local/state elections, civil disobedience, and etc etc). We fight for and with each other.
University of California, Los Angeles
Just after midnight on election night, students at UCLA took to the street in protest. According to the Daily Bruin, students ripped open a Trump piñata and burned the remains. Students also attempted to flip over a car, but stopped upon noticing that there was a man in it.
“Some specific populations really feel threatened,” said Danny Siegel, president of the UCLA student government, The Washington Post reported. “Women, undocumented students … Muslim students, and obviously I can continue to list out different groups.”
Students at Yale organized a “primal scream” in response to Trump’s lead at the time. According to the Yale Daily News, the scream, which was held at 12:30 a.m. on election night, is typically reserved for midterms and finals, but was organized for students to “express their frustration productively.”
Several students at American University responded to the election results by burning the American flag, according to The Washington Post. The Post also reported that after the protest, a spokeswoman for the university released a statement that read:
About 200 students convened this afternoon in a protest to express their reactions to the presidential election outcome. The university supported the free expression of views on all sides of the political spectrum. The expressions were at times heated, but peaceful and safe. The university does not condone the burning of the American flag, even though the act is protected speech.
The president of the American University Student Government, Devontae Torriente, wrote the following on Facebook:
For those who viewed [the election outcome] as unfavorable, anger, sadness, grief, and frustration were brought to the fore. It’s important to note that those feelings are valid and justified. People are scared and people are worried about their futures and their lives.
For some members of our community, those emotions were expressed through burning an American flag during a protest … While to many, burning the flag is seen as a disrespectful action that people should not engage in, those who do choose to partake in it unequivocally reserve that right … we need not forget what the action symbolizes to those who did it: a discontentment with the current state of our American society on behalf of several individuals of marginalized backgrounds.
University of Washington
In an email sent out to students Wednesday afternoon, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce announced that the university would be hosting an event in the “Unity Room” of the school’s Ethnic Cultural Center following the election results, according to Heat Street. The email reads, in part:
As an immigrant Latina lesbian, I can understand why some in our community may be feeling marginalized, threatened, or afraid. It has been a difficult election season for us all.
California State University, Long Beach
A spokeswoman for California State University, Long Beach, announced that the university would be setting up a tent where students could “express themselves after the election,” according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “It’s safe to say that there is a lot of fear and anxiety on campus today,” said the spokeswoman for the university, Terri Carbaugh.
Phone numbers for counseling services and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline were provided in a letter sent out to faculty and staff.
Following Trump’s victory Tuesday night, officials at Northwestern University are offering “healing spaces” and academic accommodations, according to The Daily Northwestern.
In an email to students at the University, Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president of student affairs, said, “Partisan, inflammatory statements unfortunately seem to be part of modern campaign rhetoric, but they cause real wounds. As we move beyond a divisive election, we therefore recognize the need for healing of those wounds.”
Telles-Irvin went on to say that staff members of Campus Inclusion & Community would be around to “provide support” to students.
Some professors at Northwestern have also postponed exams and canceled classes in light of the election results.