Student Senate discusses campus climate after election night
Because some students were moved to tears, watching the electoral college map turn a bright, widespread red last week, Student Senate and the division of student life took a moment Thursday to ensure the well-being of all the members and the student body.
Those around the table, including Student Body President Thalia Anguiano, said that the past days and week have campus shaken up.
“I think we obviously know it’s been a very difficult week, not only here on campus but I think just everywhere for a lot of different people,” Anguiano said.
Between President-elect Donald Trump winning the general election and the contentious posters left on a first-year dorm room created an environment that Senate advisor Meghan Baeza said created a “tough week” for some students.
“To be honest, this isn’t necessarily an announcement, but just something I think all of student life would like you to know,” Baeza said. “We care about you … we cared about you last week, yesterday. Tomorrow we will. We’re here for you. And we’ve noticed there’s just a lot going on on campus.”
During the meeting, Interim Dean of Students Dr. Jerry Parker released an email on behalf of student life.
“Caring for each other is critical to who we are at Drake,” Parker wrote. “Start by taking care of yourselves. Make sure you are eating and getting enough rest. Take care of each other. Approach each other gently. Approach each other without having assumptions about each other or having an agenda. Know that people are processing. Be patient with each other. Be good to each other.”
During her report, Anguiano also proposed a post-meeting “debrief” on the past week’s events.
“I think it would be a good time for us to just kind of like talk as humans with feelings, and not on (a) senate related note,” Anguiano said.
The discussion lasted until shortly after 11 p.m., according to Senator Beth LeValley.
Parker also addressed the issue of students disagreeing with one another and provided a reminder to students.
“We will not always agree…but disagreement is not synonymous with hatred,” Parker wrote. “This campus community can model the healing needed in this country in the way that shows respect towards one another; moving forward it definitely has to be different than what we have seen to this point.”
Baeza also emphasized that the student life office is genuinely concerned about the health of students.
“We’re really concerned about your well-being, like your sense of self-care … ,” Baeza said.
Thalia closed out the meeting with a message of thanks to students who had reached out to her.
“Thank you to everyone who’s reached out to me over the past week with words of encouragement and asking if I need anything,” Anguiano said. “I really appreciate it. Please keep spreading that to other people who might need some love throughout the past few days and next couple of weeks.”