How does the current political climate with people like Donald Trump affect the undergraduate experience?


#1

I am very interested in the current mentality/perception on campus and whether the intense election process was exciting or annoying for students.


#2

This is a very good question, and one that deserves an answer that addresses a broader perspective than just college campuses alone.

The implications of this election are serious. There has essentially been a bottoming out of the way things have been for a while, and it is largely in the hands of young people to address what we collectively do next. The sentiments that led to Trump’s win have been percolating for a long, long time, and now we are forced to confront those realities head-on. There is a systematic oppression of too many subsets of population in this country, and those who have experienced it need to not give up, but get very loud. This doesn’t mean protests and drugs and alternate lifestyles like the 1960s counterculture - this situation requires a much more intelligent manner of response. Ultimately our problem boils down to consciousness, or a lack thereof. Consciousness is a concept that resonates deeply with the African American community as a means of reconciling, coping, and managing oppressive circumstances that have surrounded their history in this nation. However, consciousness needs to extend deeper into a generation that has largely not had to confront anything in a conscious manner yet (I’m talking to you, millennials). But young people have all the tools in the world to access consciousness and to spread it - you all can help us do something about the state of mind that is existing in too much of America. “Woke bae” needs to not be a meme, it needs to be a reality beyond Twitter and Facebook, etc. Wokeness in everyday real life. Wokeness as a refusal to accept certain toxic perspectives masquerading as that of the nation’s as a whole (because it is not).

Intelligent radicalism is possible, and absolutely necessary. Many American universities are great places to get conscious, and to influence real change. Check out this article to get a similar perspective as to what I’m talking about: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/opinion/america-elects-a-bigot.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share