Election results spur civil protest on campus

Written by Demian Lucas

The evening of Nov. 8 marked the end of the 2016 presidential elections and the outcome was an upset to many. Republican nominee, Donald Trump, began his campaign for presidency in June 2016, leading what Portland State President Wim Wiewel called a, “vitriolic campaign.”

Mainstream media outlets touted for months that long-standing politician and Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was all but guaranteed the victory. According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton was projected to win the election with 85% accuracy. In the final hours of the election, the American public saw these projections were wrong.

A large crowd of PSU students and local residents immediately gathered near Smith Memorial Student Center to express their “fear, anger, and sorrow.” Chants such as, “Fuck Donald Trump,” could be heard a few blocks away.

PSU Campus Public Safety Chief Phillip Zerzan confirmed that anti-Trump protests occurred on both Tuesday and Wednesday night, assuring there were no complaints or formal actions taken by the PSU Public Safety Team. Zerzan indicated that these kinds of demonstrations are common on PSU’s campus.

“We encourage students to exercise their First Amendment Rights,” said Zerzan. “Our role is making sure they have the ability to do that.”

When describing the events of Tuesday night, Zerzan acknowledged that a protest occurred “on the edge of campus, and then went all over.” Meanwhile, an even larger group of frustrated Portland citizens gathered to protest downtown.

Students react to Donald Trump’s surprise win. Matthew Andrews/PSU Vanguard

The PSU community was not unique in its reaction to the news.  Similar protests were held on Tuesday and Wednesday night in other cities such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and several others.

Resources are available for PSU students seeking counseling or related services:

Center for Student Health and Counseling Services

Healthy Campus Resources