Is encouraging students to seek counseling services if they are “experiencing severe panic and anxiety” that is impeding their daily functions, due to the presidential election results.
As the votes were counted on Tuesday evening, many students requested that administrators cancel classes the day after the election, while other students disagreed, according to the university president. Administrators ultimately decided to keep classes on, as scheduled, “at least” for the time being.
Republican president-elect Donald Trump won the battleground state of Pennsylvania, a historically Democratic state in national elections. The last Republican presidential candidate to win there was George H. W. Bush in 1988.
“I want to acknowledge first and foremost that there are as many feelings today about the results of the election, the future of our country, etc. as there are members of our community. During this time, I want to remind you of sources of support and space open to all on campus,” Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Allison Gulati wrote in an email to students on Wednesday, the day after Trump was announced the projected winner of the race.
She informed students that “counseling services” would be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
“They also offer a counselor on call for students in significant distress 24/7. The counselor on call can be reached by calling campus safety after hours,” she wrote. “We encourage you to seek counseling support if you are in acute distress such as experiencing severe panic and anxiety, unable to sleep, eat or perform your daily functions.”
Gulati also urged students to engage in “dialog and reflection” about the election results on Wednesday, at the campus multicultural center or the Chapel, which had “open space for prayer, candle lighting, and snacks.”
“We encourage you to take part in opportunities for community dialog and reflection,” the email said.
Gulati anticipated there being “other opportunities for open reflection and community conversation over the next few days and weeks.”
“Finally, and most importantly, we are a community and we are made up of many communities within our larger community. This calls us to support one another, seek civility and respect with others, and reach out for help as needed,” she wrote, reminding students to “please take care of yourself and one another.”
Gulati’s message was sent out as a follow-up to an email from President John Williams on election night, where he explained that his staff had received requests to cancel classes on Wednesday.
“Many members of my senior staff and I have received several emails from students requesting that we cancel classes today, Nov. 9. We have also received emails from other students urging that we not cancel classes. I am sensitive to the arguments of these students, both pro and con, on this issue,” Williams wrote in an email.
“As Muhlenberg is, at our core, an educational institution, I am persuaded we should not cancel classes; at least not today, in the immediate wake of this election. Rather, I encourage our faculty to hold classes as scheduled but to be sensitive to the understandable feelings many members of our community — particularly our students — will be feeling in the wake of this historic election,” he added.
Williams called on students “to make space for reflection, discussion and consideration of what has happened and the variety of thoughts and feelings that this election will have stimulated in our community, in various communities throughout our nation and, indeed, in communities around the world.”
“We need a day to heal after we’ve been told the country doesn’t value our existence at all,” one student said.
Celebrities make Miley Cyrus were part of Hillary Clinton’s Get Out The Vote effort to garner support from young voters. Cyrus campaigned for Clinton on George Mason University’s campus in Fairfax, VA. She teared up when reacting to Clinton’s loss in a video posted on Wednesday.
“I still think that, in [Clinton’s] lifetime, that she deserves to be the first female president,” a sobbing Cyrus said. “And that’s what makes me so sad. I just wish she had that opportunity, because she’s fought for so long and because I believe her when she says she loves this country.”
Later in the video, Cyrus said she accepts a Trump presidency.
“I even accept you as the president of the United States, and that’s fine, that’s fine because now I want to be a hopeful hippy,” she said.