Tuesday evening, the Asian American Association held an open meeting to discuss students’ thoughts and feelings about the results of the presidential election.
Advisor for AAA and chair of Asian studies Jinhee Lee led the meeting that consisted of both students and faculty.
“I came to think that this (meeting) can be one of the best moments to teach and learn and also transform the energy of the post-election fear and anxiety into positive force to examine our social reality, share about our observations through critical thinking, and finally prepare ourselves to do better and be better here and now on our very campus and local community collectively,” Lee said. “I personally felt much time (and) pressure to make this discussion event possible before the majority of our university and community members leave for home for the Thanksgiving break where, I bet, they will talk about the election and the post-election thoughts and some might even encounter difficult, tense conversations with their close and loved ones back home.”
Lee and the members of AAA felt that the election was an important topic to discuss because of the great divide among coworkers, peers, friendships and families.
“The benefits of providing a sort of safe space to express our candid views and share our feelings and responses were not difficult to imagine,” Lee said, “especially after observing the manifestation of the ‘Great Unfriending of 2016’ phenomenon even around my circle of friends over social media during the campaign season and following the election result.”
Also in attendance was economics professor Mukti P. Upadhyay, history professor Lee Patterson, English professor Tim Engles and sociology professor Gene Deerman.
These faculty members were present to gain insight on students’ perspective on the election and be available to answer questions and concerns.
“This topic and this moment is an excellent opportunity to reflect upon ourselves, our campus culture, local community culture and our nation in light of the global reality precisely,” Lee said.
Students shared their theories on the reasoning behind the election results, their feelings on the topic of micro-aggressions and how they have interacted with other people regarding the election results.
Updahyay touched on the aspects of economics and how that played a large role in the election and Patterson offered his own insights on the election and its similarities to events in history.
For the past few weeks AAA has discussed the U.S. presidential election prior to the election night. During these meetings, Lee said she could “gauge the level of their interest in this important election.”
Other than the various social discussions about politics and social issues, AAA also holds activities and events such as museum field trips, food outings and listening to K-pop.
Lee said one of the upcoming events on Nov. 26 is an Asian meal part that she will personally host, followed by a mini-field trip to a local museum to see Asia-related exhibits.
AAA president, junior music major Jessica French said that the group plans to host events next semester including a banquet to close the academic year.
“One of the great benefits and goals in college training is to learn to be an engaged and responsible citizen and train ourselves to be able to engage in civil, informed, and constructive discourse to be leaders in our society,” Lee said.
Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]