Frustration over election results can be used to inspire change
November 10, 2016
Election Day has finally come and gone, and January will bring the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. Tensions are reasonably high as the United States lets this result sink in.
Many people have made their discomfort public, particularly those from minority populations. While the country tries to predict its fate for the next four years, it’s important to realize that this is a perfect opportunity for you to stand up for what you believe in.
UW-River Falls has a plethora of student organizations to support the causes in which you might be passionate about. If you’re a woman worried about the Trump administration trying to take away your reproductive rights, join the Student Feminist Organization and work to make your voice heard. If you’re afraid of environmental and sustainability issues being put on the White House’s back burner, consider joining the Environmental Corps of Sustainability.
Identity-based student organizations also exist at UWRF. The Black Student Union and the Asian American Student Association are just two of the various organizations here, and a new one, Indian Club, has just been approved. If, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you feel threatened, join the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
You can also look to the River Falls community. If the sexual assault allegations against Trump are unsettling to you, apply to volunteer with the Sexual Assault Response Team or Turningpoint to help survivors of sexual assault.
Absolutely, vent your frustrations, but it’s important to actually do something to promote what’s important to you as well. Find your community and use that support to get you through the next four years if you’re struggling.
Although we may seem small right now, what we can do with our feelings toward the election can make a big difference. Voting is only a small part of doing our civic duty as an American. So if you see injustice, go out and make your voices heard. We may feel small right now, but if we assemble with those who feel the same, there’s no end to what we can do.
However, it’s important to remember that the results of this election are not the end of the world. Even if your politics don’t line up with the electoral votes, the United States will get through the next four years. We’re not living in a dystopian novel, just another country in this massive world. In a time of doubt, we must put our faith into the checks and balances in our government. Trump will not become a dictator.
However, if you are having a hard time coping, it’s important to talk to someone. As a UWRF student, you can utilize free counseling through the university. It’s as easy as calling or going into the office in Hagestad Hall, making an intake appointment, and getting placed with a counselor who best suits your needs. You’ll go through what you want to focus on, and soon you’ll have a support system that you can count on to listen to you and recognize your feelings as valid. Sometimes, that’s all we need.
Above all, take care of yourself. However you are feeling right now is totally valid, and there are resources here to support you.