A week ago, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States of America. Our campus reacted that night, and we continue to react in different ways every day. The feeling on campus remains somber. As we prepare for the peaceful transition of power and what the next four years might entail, it’s important to first consider the ways Amherst College, as an institution, has facilitated or stifled student discourse on the new government.
When I started trying to write about how I processed the election, I found myself incoherently, guiltily stumbling over acknowledging my privileges in a way that centered them and sounded both self-righteous and oddly self-congratulatory.
Need to respond to your step-uncle’s concerning position on climate change? Facebook is the place. Don’t like a protest that one of your fellow classmates staged? Post a status on Facebook, and watch the comment thread devolve. Become angered by what you read in these comment sections? Write an opinion piece!
Oh, you have a friend back home who’s Indian? That’s nice — I really am happy for you. But I just don’t see what that has to do with me.
(Yes, I’ve had this said to me at Amherst several times.)
Trump absolutely cannot be allowed to win and everyone ought to vote for Hillary Clinton, at the very least, to prevent Trump from winning. Excellent. Now what? The issue of Hillary Clinton has been one that I’ve grappled with since it was clear that she had trumped Bernie Sanders in the primary. Like a man terrified of commitment, the best I can do is say I’m only sort of with her.
At this time of year — with big events on weekends and bizarre weather — it can feel hard to sit down and plow through homework. If you happen to be in a humanities class, you might often find yourself heading to class thinking, “who has actually finished all the reading?” Many courses assign infeasible amounts of readings to such an extent that even the professor will explicitly state that they would be not be surprised if many people hadn’t finished for class. Why is this the norm? Rigor does not necessitate large volumes of work.
When I mention studying abroad in New Zealand, most people think of hiking, mountains and beautiful scenery. In some ways, they are correct. However, these assumptions overshadow the colonial history of Polynesia and the struggles that indigenous people continue to face today.