On Nov. 9 students from around campus met in Botsford-Swinford Hall's multipurpose room at the Johnson A Complex to openly discuss the election results, why it happened, how it happened and what can they expect for the future. Michael King, a Hall Director at Brayton-Cleverer, lays down the ground rules for the discussion. Patrick Calvert // DN
Students discuss election, future of country
Hall directors at Ball State knew the day after the election would be hard for students regardless of the results, so they created a space for them to talk it out.
On Nov. 9, students from around campus met in Botsford-Swinford Hall's multipurpose room in the Johnson A Complex to openly discuss the election results. Why it happened, how it happened and what can they expect for the future.
Dani Badgett, a hall director of Botsford-Swinford, and Michael King, a hall director of Brayton-Clevenger came up with the idea before the election.
“A lot of times we are very reactive in the way that we plan programs," Badgett said.
She could tell that there would be tension after the election so Badgett, with King’s help, created a space where students could talk about how they felt.
"A lot of ugly things have been said on both sides and I think it just comes from not having empathy for each other and not coming from a place of understandings, and we want to model that for students,” Badgett said.
There were several tables set up at the event with students who had differing outlooks on the election and the future.
Katelyn Grasso, a sophomore natural resource and environmental management major, said she saw people on social media fighting before the election and she is still seeing it.
“I see so many posts today and probably will the rest of the week of people arguing and complaining or people upset and it's kind of like, why are you guys tearing each other up?" Grasso said.
She hopes Americans have faith to go forward regardless of the election results.
“I hope that we see a lot of people taking this more seriously — I hope we don’t see people arguing for the next four years, that will get old fast," she said.
After talking with other students, she felt reassured that this is not going to be the “doom” or “the end.”
“I think the most important thing is to talk more about it," Grasso said.
Brandon Stephens, a freshman telecommunications major, feels like the country is divided due to the election resulting in a virtual fifty-fifty split when it comes to the popular vote.
He believes Trump won because he speaks for the middle class and people are frustrated with politicians.
“We’ve had eight years of Bush, eight years of Obama, eight years of Republican, eight years of Democrat,” Stephens said. “Trump comes along and says 'here’s what’s going to happen whether you like it or not.'"
Evan Fischer, a sophomore computer science major who is a resident assistant in Brayton-Clevenger, mentioned that social media caused a lot of division this election.
“There was no conversation in it. People interpret reading words in different ways — there was no voice behind them, no facial expression, no emotion, there was no actual human interaction and that causes a divide,” Fischer said.
He thinks people need to continue realizing that their voice still matters and the “president is not king — things that he says does not go.”
“The legislation is probably going to pass very fast now,” Fischer said. “It’s just going to flow right through. Trump won the election but Republicans as a whole had a major victory with the House and Senate."
After the event, he said that he felt so much better after talking it all out.
“What I liked about this was that we are talking about now, what things are happening, thinking about the future with what we were given," he said.
Rachel Berning, a junior speech pathology major, said she was worried about her friends who are part of the LGBTQ community.
One of her friends posted a status regarding the outcome of the election.
“He said he basically sees no hope for his future family and he doesn’t know what [the future's] going to be like. He literally said that he just sobbed forever because he was so upset about the results,” Berning said.
She also thinks people are worried about America’s standing with the international community. She felt a sense of uncertainty.
“Trump has angered a lot of other countries and he has said negative things about other cultures," she said.
Before Berning showed up to the event, she thought it would be an argumentative environment with deep divides. She was glad it wasn’t like that because it "enables people to open up and talk about how they feel."
Ben Lawson, a sophomore computer science major who is a residence assistant in Botsford-Swinford, thinks the country is so driven by differences rather than the unifying factors.
“Regardless of who you are, you are still an American. I think a lot of people just don’t see that," he said.
Like many people who participated in the event, he felt a sense of uncertainty.
“The main thing I have seen is uncertainty, no one really knows what’s going to happen because Trump is the wild card," Lawson said.