Over 50 Cornellians gathered on Ho Plaza this afternoon for a cry in to “mourn” in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory.
Braving the cold, wind and occasional rain, Cornellians sat in a circle to share stories and console each other, organizers encouraging attendees to gather closer together and “include each other.”
Willard Straight Hall Resource Center employees gave out blankets, tissues and hot chocolate to keep participants warm, while students signed posters with words of encouragement and protest, including “Donald Trump is not my president.”
Zoe Maisel ’18, co-president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Cornell, said she and co-president Cassidy Clark ’17 began organizing the cry-in last night for “those of us who have been fighting.”
“We need to just take a break and just cry before … tomorrow we get back up and keep fighting, because people feel really, really powerless,” she said.
“This event was just to come together and support each other, because we’re all in shock right now,” added Alanna Salwen ’19, design chair for PPGA at Cornell.
Maisel said the election results shocked many Cornellians, many who had never seriously contemplated the ramifications of a Trump presidency.
“Two weeks ago, the co-president and I jokingly said ‘Oh, we need to do something if Trump wins,” but never actually thought that would happen,” she said.
Maisel noted that the president elect’s rhetoric, specifically targeting minorities, immigrants and women, has devastated many who feel that they will be especially vulnerable and unwelcome in Trump’s America.
“It is a really emotional time, for people who feel personally targeted by the rhetoric that’s been shared and the policies that have been talked about,” Maisel said, referencing Vice President Elect Mike Pence’s desire to repeal Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Salwen said the event aimed to help the Cornell community cope with the disappointment of the election results, before students can begin organizing an opposition.
“I think now, we’re all just grieving… because it’s four years, four years of this, and we all need time to process that and then we’re going to gather ourselves up and figure out a way to fight this,” she said.
She added that she hopes attendees will use the cry-in to gather strength to fight the xenophobia and discrimination that may arise over the course of Trump’s presidency.
“There’s no way we’re going to let his bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia define this country — even though it defines the presidency at this point in time,” Salwen said. “I think this is really a turning point in America — whatever that means.”
Standing with students at the cry-in and nearly in tears herself, campus activities coordinator Denice Cassaro called the election’s results “devastating.”
“I have no words,” she said.