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President Kaplan Encourages Students to Seek Help Coping With Election Results

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~ This is a developing story, please check back for more info. ~

11/10/16 8:36 pm

In an email to students on Thursday afternoon, University of New Haven president Steven Kaplan encouraged students to seek help in dealing with the results of the 2016 presidential election.

“Our commitment to the well-being of every member of the University community remains steadfast.  We will never waver in our conviction that this is a community for people of all races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, and gender identities,” he said.

Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States on Tuesday, in a victory many people did not see coming.

In his email to students, Kaplan noted that there have been issues involving civil discourse on campus previously, and hopes that this time things could be different.

“It is critically important that we all recognize our responsibility to engage in civil discourse at all times and especially during historical transitions in presidential leadership such as this,” Kaplan wrote.

UNH experimented with a campus-wide open dialogue last month after the controversy over Sheriff David Clarke left many students, families, and alumni angry over the accusations of disinviting the controversial speaker. In this dialogue, student shad the opportunity to speak their mind on controversial issues, in an effort to better understand the differences between students.

There is another open dialogue discussion scheduled for Monday November 14 at 12 pm in the German Club to continue the conversation that was cut short last month.

The UNH administration scheduled – several weeks in advance – an open walk-in day at the new Center for Diversity and Inclusion for the day after the election. This day would allow students to come in and talk about their feelings the day after the election, no matter who won.

11/11/16 12:31 pm

Juan Hernandez, Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion wanted this to be a day where students, no matter who, could just come into a safe space and just “be.”

“We just provided a space for students to do whatever they needed to do in that moment,” he said.

Hernandez noted that there was not a lot of group discussion during the day, but there were counselors available if needed by students. He also pointed out that there were many students of different races, backgrounds, and religions that came into the center that day, including white students who were coping with the news.

The director of this new office, aimed at helping to facilitate a healthy, diverse campus, had an interesting response when asked what students should do to move on from the current divisive climate.

“If you don’t agree with the policies [referring to Republicans in government], if you don’t agree with the rhetoric, run for your town council, run for your board of ed, run for your state representative, your state senate. Do whatever you need to do to get involved,” he said.

Hernandez mentioned that he would like to see more diversity in government, and not just with race, but with gender and age as well. He also advised students to not fall into the traps of argument with people you disagree with on social media.

A lot of rhetoric on social media from citizens on both sides of the spectrum have projected that President-elect Trump’s policies may not be as dire as his campaign suggested, especially now that he will have to go through the process of government before enacting many of his plans.

However, there may be concern with undocumented immigrants all over the country with Trump’s new plan, before a wall is even designed.

“If there was a Mexican student from UNH studying abroad in Italy and [Trump] repeals DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), that student would not be allowed back into the U.S., all because of one signature,” Hernandez said.

The UNH administration has begun the conversation on how to deal with these types of instances once Trump takes office in January, should he follow through on his claims. Although, there have not been any plans made public to the UNH community.

~ This is a developing story, please check back for more info. ~

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President Kaplan Encourages Students to Seek Help Coping With Election Results