Mixture of grief and jubilation over election

By Kelsey Par - Staff Reporter

Reaction to Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential Election has progressed beyond shock and denial to outright anger, a Highline psychology professor said.

"Another grief reaction besides shock and denial is anger and you see that today, you see people marching on the streets and protesting," said Psychology Professor, Dr. Bob Baugher.

Thousands of people have been protesting and rioting Trump's recent victory across the country. Hundreds of people have been arrested in major cities in Washington, Oregon, California and New York.

"I think for many people today, even though it's been a week since the election, their brains are "still dealing with the fact that this happened. I think even the supporters of trump are thinking 'wow this really happened'," Dr. Baugher said.

But beyond anger, it has also instilled fear amongst minority communities. Immigrants, the LGBTQIA community, and Hispanic and Muslim communities are reporting they have been directly targeted with hate crimes since the election.

A group of Muslim women at the University of Washington campus in Bothell were allegedly harassed and demanded to remove their hijabs by a group of men yesterday.

This is just one of the hundreds of hate crimes that have been reported since the election. According to a new FBI report, there has been a 6 percent overall increase in hate crimes across the United States., and a 66 percent increase in Muslim hate crimes. Hate crimes against Muslims are the highest they have been since after the 9/11 attack in 2001.

Highline President Dr. Jack Bermingham reaffirmed the colleges' commitment to diversity and civility in an email sent to staff and students: "As I said last fall, Highline College remains one of democracy's colleges in the best sense of the word. We believe that the richness of our cultural (including religious) and political differences strengthens our bonds of understanding and community. We do not fear discourse and contention, but we do demand civility and respect in engaging each other and the range of views that we hold. We strive for social justice that includes all and an accountability that is true to our College's values and to U.S. constitutional principles."

Students who have been affected by the 2016 Presidential Election have an array of on- and off-campus recourses to turn to.

On-campus resources that can help individuals cope are available through the Counseling Center and other departments.

The Political Science Department will host an open forum on the 2016 Presidential Election on Monday, Nov. 21 for staff and students. The forum is in Building 7 and will run from 10-11 a.m.

"The Counseling Center provides therapy and it's free and other students on campus are a great resource as well," said Highline Counselor Josh Magallanes.

"In the last two weeks, 80 percent of my sessions have been processing the election and a lot of people are feeling hurt and betrayal," he said.

However, these aren't the only feelings students say they have experienced.

"When I found out that Donald Trump won the election, I was in shock, mostly because of what was said in his debates," said student Nicole Sam. "I didn't know if things were going to be OK, I was speechless, angry and frightened."

Not only are some students fearing for the country, but some say they are disappointed that so many people voted for Trump.

"More than half of America was able to overlook who he is and what he says and it's terrifying that our country would stand for him," said student Jenn Tran.

Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by an estimated 1.5 million, Trump won the election with 290 Electoral College votes, to Clinton's 232.

The United States does not directly elect its president. Rather, a weighted system involving the population of each state determines the winner.

With the election results as close as they were, some students say they are remaining hopeful that the Electoral College will change its mind.

"The Electoral College is outdated and I'm not happy, but I'm trying to remain positive," Sam said.

Aside from the on-campus resources, there are many off-campus resources as well.

Magallanes said people who are suffering from high anxiety and distress can visit Valley Cities Mental Health or Sound Mental Health.

Immigrants can learn more about the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project at nwirp.org and the LGBTQIA community can learn more about the Gender Justice League at genderjusticeleague.org.

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