Many across the nation, including PCC students and faculty, are in literal shock after numerous polling predictions failed and a stunning political upset caused Donald Trump to be elected 45th president of the United States, at the end of a grueling, contentious election cycle.
The Grio reported that a Yale professor allowed his 115 students to skip their midterm exam due to the shock of the election results.
“I am getting many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns (Although as I write the election has not been called). The ones I find most upsetting are those who fear, rightly or wrongly, for their own families. These students are requesting that the exam be postponed,” the email reads.
“On the other hand, I am sure that many students have sacrificed to prepare for the test. Further, it is not easy to reschedule exam rooms at this late date. Finally, postponing the exam would throw off the rest of the schedule as well. Therefore, I am making the exam optional.”
The PCC community has felt the same feelings of shock and bewilderment all over campus. Sociology professor Anthony Francoso spoke to the Courier about what he feels this portends for the future of the country.
“I’m just speechless right now at this point, all the resentment and all the build up of people of color making too many gains potentially, women becoming maybe too empowered … I guess it’s just kind of a backlash of right wing folks who are trying to maintain their last bastion of white privilege, trying to protect what they think is the little bit of safety they have left,” Francoso said.
“White supremacy is making its face very visible again and they’re coming out woodwork.”
According to the L.A. Times students all across the west coast from California to Washington state vented their frustrations last night and today, by walking out of their classes, and marching in the streets in full protest.
“The demonstrations — which mirrored protests from Seattle to Pittsburgh — followed protests in the predawn hours in which crowds openly disavowed the president-elect, with a few protesters resorting to vandalism,” The Times reported.
“At Berkeley High School, about 1,500 students — half the entire student body — walked out of class after first period began at 8 a.m., Berkeley Unified School District officials said and students tweeted “#NotMyPresident” and pledged to unify. Others chanted, “Si, se puede,” Spanish for “Yes, we can,” and waved Mexican flags, according to posts on social media.”
Associated Students president Julia Russo spoke to the Courier about the results. Russo stated that while the AS is nonpartisan and does not back any candidate, AS recognizes that there are many students on campus who feel marginalized by the results.
“We know that it is in our best interests to make sure that we address those student’s needs and concerns, for example, our United Without Boundaries (UWB) club, we have Hispanics on campus and there are over 50 percent of Hispanics on campus. We have Muslims; we have all different groups that we pride ourselves on being diverse,” Russo said.
“We’re going to be directly ensuring that we can communicate with those individual groups because we know that there’s going to be a lot of tension and sentiments. We do know that there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Russo further stated that there are a lot of unknowns and ambiguity in terms of how the election will affect the student body and the college, but that moving forward they would be as positive as possible and ensure that the students on campus have a safe space to vent their feelings.
In the aftermath of an unexpected election, the PCC community is now talking about next steps and what they can do to, in their opinion, minimize the potential harm and damage that may be done with a Trump presidency and a republican house and senate.
“It’s time for us to really start organizing, it’s time for us to really start building coalitions focusing on solidarity, start taking back local elections and building to larger elections,” Francoso said.
“Continue fighting at an even more urgent pace now, because we all kinda got lulled with Obama. We need to go back on the offensive and moving forward, not sitting on our butts thinking everything’s cool.”