Campus reacts to President-Elect Trump

Jaden Vander Berg- Staff Writer

It has been a month since the nation elected Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. In the days and weeks after the outcome, the nation stood divided. Protests stirred in major cities across the country, classes were canceled and tests were postponed as students mourned the result.

Dordt College is located in the Northwest corner of Iowa, one of the most conservative areas in the country. However, all of Dordt’s campus does not abide by conservative thought.

Senior Anya Kalsbeek tends to lean towards the liberal side of most political issues. Being an advocate for climate action and stricter gun control laws, Kalsbeek was very surprised, along with half the country, that Clinton did not win the election.

“I feel like there are a lot of populations that have not been represented well by the voters, just because Trump has offended so many groups of people,” Kalsbeek said. “[However] I think America is wanting some change, we have just seen a lot of the same thing. Trump isn’t political at all, or hasn’t been in the past, and people think he can be the one to bring this change.”

Other students were not as surprised by the results, despite most of the polls showing Clinton as the winner. Senior Luke Venhuizen said that every time he read a poll or a statistic he took the entire thing with a grain of salt.

“I found it hilarious how they approached [the election]. If they get enough endorsements from people who have some sort of ‘following’, that they are going to win,” Venhuizen said. “The celebrities who they are getting to endorse are not politicians, how do they know who to vote for? Just because Beyoncé said vote for Hillary doesn’t mean I’m going to.”

Students such as sophomore PJ Kooima were relieved to hear of Trump’s victory and shocked in a different way than many Clinton supporters. Kooima’s main concerns during the campaign were of the media’s influence on the campaign and how reporters would portray Trump.

“I believe that the biggest reason for his victory was the fact that so many people were ready for change, and that Trump would be the most likely candidate to provide change,” Kooima said. “I hope to see him steer the government away from socialistic policies like Obama care and rather move towards a capitalistic approach.”

Professors and students alike are now refocusing their career and job paths as they consider what a Trump presidency will look like. Social services may be cut, families may be deported, people living one way may be told their way is no longer legal. These are real fears for many Americans.

Abby Foreman, Dordt professor of social work, said that in the months after Trump’s election, society needs to enter into a time of “learning and listening.”

“We can’t say the next four years are not going to be interesting. Even though there is fear from certain groups of people, perhaps this opens space for different solutions than the status quo of either party,” Foreman said. “I’m hopeful that can be the case. Because it’s so different, because he is so different, that it opens up some space for different solutions that gain some ground that wouldn’t in a normal two-party system.”

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