Campus leaders stress unity following Trump’s victory

The 2016 presidential election has caused a wide range of emotions; many are in an uproar while others are celebrating. 

To the surprise of many, Republican Donald J. Trump won the election and will soon be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. But his controversial campaign, filled with hateful rhetoric toward minorities and admission of sexual assault against women in a leaked video tape, has caused many at the University of Detroit Mercy to speak out. 

“This is an appropriate time to reinforce our mission of educating Detroit Mercy students holistically and to reaffirming our enduring commitment to social justice, service and the varied diversity of our students and employees — by race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, and other characteristics,” Detroit Mercy President Antoine Garibaldi said in an email to students. “Detroit Mercy is a university where ‘all are welcome’ and where respect for the dignity of each person is one of our core values.”

There have been efforts on campus from the Black Student Union and other organizations trying to team together to make sure the worst out of this election doesn’t come into fruition, including rapidly increasing violence, and a more prominent racial divide.

 “Many people are surprised that Donald Trump won the election, but we should have predicted it because of the state of our country,” said Andrew Cavanaugh Mueller, a Detroit Mercy student. “The hate and intolerance for immigrants has been evident in our country for years leading up to the election. This hate combined with a general feeling of dissatisfaction with the political establishment created the perfect breeding ground for Trump’s false promises and demagoguery.”

Trump’s campaign promises – including building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, deporting millions of undocumented immigrants and banning Muslims – promoted the university’s McNichols Faculty Assembly to issue a statement to address student’s concerns and uncertainty. 

“In keeping with our Jesuit and Mercy traditions and mission, the MFA affirms Detroit Mercy as a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive place for students, faculty, and staff of all races, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and regardless of citizenship status,” the MFA said in a statement to The Varsity News. “We remain committed to diversity and continue to denounce any expression or act of racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, or ableism. We look forward to working with all members of the Detroit Mercy community in reasserting our commitment to education, diversity and civil dialogue, and we thank President Garibaldi for his statement of Nov. 14 affirming our values.”

This election has been such a harsh one–forcing us to argue with our families and closest friends on their beliefs and challenging us to question our own values. Some are frightened by what happened. Others are happy. And still others, like junior Mijai Lewis, don’t know what to think. 

“I really don’t know what to say about the election because I am not worried about it,” Lewis said. “When I found out who won, I wasn’t upset because Trump might be the help America needs and I have God on my side and, not to minimize the authority of humans and their roles, I believe in God’s higher power.”