In a campus-wide email to students, North Carolina (NC) State University chancellor Randy Woodson announced that grieving students would be provided with resources such as “conversation spaces” and “comfort” food such as “granola bars” and “snacks” to help them deal emotionally with the outcome of Tuesday’s election.
“Earlier today we shared information about ‘conversation spaces’ that were planned to support students, faculty, and staff,” Woodson’s administrative assistant wrote on his behalf. “Given the response and identified need, we will be continuing these. Thursday 11/10 and Friday 11/11 from 10am – 4pm in the Student Involvement Center of Talley we will have staff and counselors available. We will be providing a comfort station with granola bars, snacks, and water.”
Woodson added the coping resources will be available for the grieving students for the coming weeks after the election.
“The long and contentious presidential campaign that concluded with yesterday’s vote clearly has the country divided, and understandably has resulted in a wide range of feelings throughout our nation, our state and our own campus community,” he wrote.
In an anonymous letter to the NC State administration, one student expressed the alienation the school was putting students through by suggesting the election results were reason for mourning. The student, signed “The Rooster,” sent a copy of the following letter to The Daily Wire:
Dear Chancellor Woodson,
I am writing in reply to the notice sent on your behalf, as per Justine Hollingshead, regarding the resources NC State is allocating post election to the students, faculty and staff of NC State.
As written in Ms Hollinshead’s email, “conversation spaces” are planned to “support students faculty and staff.” As per Ms Hollinahead’s email ‘comfort stations” with various snacks and refreshments will also be provided.
In my years following presidential election, I cannot recall such a response to the end of an election and must admit I am confused and concerned about this reaction by NC State. Admittedly, I was even more concerned, if not extremely bothered, by the 2016 presidential election itself. Over the decades I can honestly say I have seen a significant deterioration in the way elections have been publicized, the media’s role in covering the candidates and in some cases, particularly in the 2016 election, the quality of the candidates being put forth.
In this 2016 election, I am confident we can agree, the country has been split. I would argue this split has been in the making for over a decade, however the outright slander on both sides reached new lows in 2016. As with most differences of opinion, I’m sure we could debate the good and bad aspects of both candidates as well as the very legality of the candidates’ bid for the highest office in the land however I am refraining from brining my personal beliefs and choices into this letter as I do not feel they are relevant to my comments.
What I am wanting to bring out into the open by composing this letter is the validation NC State is giving to those at State, North Carolinians and all citizens of the USA who are protesting the results of this election. Would the ‘comfort stations’ have been made available to us if Ms. Clinton had won? I have to admit, I do not believe so. Should those who supported Trump have taken to the streets, protest, beat those who voted for Ms. Clinton (as has happened to a Trump supporter), called for violence and revolution if Ms. Clinton had won? Or would the Democrats, Liberals and Leftists have expected Conservatives, Republicans and those on the Right to remain silent and accept the new president-elect, her views, her policies and agendas ignoring their own feelings towards Ms. Clinton?
By your actions you are validating the belief that wrong has been done. Although I am only in my mid forties, I can assure you there have been people who have disagreed with, were upset by and even had angry feelings over election results for hundreds of years. But to give credence to the notion that wrong has been done by providing ‘comfort stations’ is ludicrous. Again, I am doing my best to refrain from bringing my personal feelings into this, but if any wrong has been done in the 2016 election it was done to Justice, Truth and Respect shown towards the American people. Laws have been broken, lies have been told and scales were intentionally tipped towards a specific candidate. If there are actions that are to be taken as a result of the 2016 election, I believe those actions need to come in the form of new campaign laws, new standards for truth and transparency in the process of electing our officials, truth and transparency within the media regarding how candidates are covered and the relationships between media personalities and the candidates. And from there, the American people be allowed to pick the candidates, fairly and with open honest debate free from being labeled.
In full disclosure I voted Libertarian this election cycle. Trump does not represent me nor does Clinton. Neither have the values, morals or ethics that I have been given and developed over the years. Both have major flaws. And with that in mind, I seriously doubt I would be welcomed at a ‘comfort station’ given the comfort I am in need of is the comfort of knowing that I live in a country where we are all equal under the law. And at the close of 2016 it is clear we are not. It is clear we are not heading in that direction. It is clear there is a divide that is deep and continuing to grow and that practices like ‘comfort stations’ or meetings exclusively for ‘Men of Color’ (as seen on State’s campus) will only perpetuate the notion that We The People should be suspicious of one another, a tactic of our politicians to garner votes.
I hope President-elect Trump finds some humility with his new title and position. I have serious doubts he will. But in the case of a president Trump, I am confident there are enough impartial Republicans and angry Democrats that if President Trump steps over the line our safety net of impeachment will minimize the damage. Does anyone believe there would be enough impartial Democrats in Washington to enact that same safety net under a President Hillary Clinton after what we have seen in 2016?
The efforts of NC State as well as all public and private institutions and the citizens of the USA should be to ensure that We The People have the same opportunities even though we know we may not have the same outcomes. That We The People will be treated the same under the law. And to demonstrate that We The People are indeed “on the same team.” With that goal in mind, maybe NC State should have offered team building exercises where members of both sides could participate rather than one side being offered ‘comfort stations.’ Where Democrats and Republicans could mix and match, given tasks to complete and allow them to come together in an effort of achieving a common goal providing an atmosphere of forgetting, if for only a moment, their differences and focus on what they have in common.
After all isn’t that the theme of the Wolf Pack?
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