In response to the results of last week’s presidential election, the Ohio University College Democrats held an event Tuesday night during their weekly meeting time to discuss America’s political future.
The organization’s board members stressed the importance of creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone present to share their opinions freely, without fear of judgment.
To kick off the discussion, Membership Director Jill Stern asked each attendee to share one descriptive word that captured his or her feelings on the election results.
“Tired.” “Disturbed.” “Worried.” “Frustrated.” “Hopeful.” “Determined.” The responses varied greatly — some were negative, highlighting the pain of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, but others were more focused on improving the Democratic party’s standing.
After each participant spoke, President Sam Miller opened the floor for general discussion on any topic related to the election’s aftermath. Some chose to share stories about painful experiences they have faced since, and some spoke about fears they have for the reality of a Donald Trump presidency.
Most seemed to agree that the organization’s focus should now be placed on further political education and reforming the Democratic party itself.
“Being a Democrat is so much more than rolling your sleeves up and getting your hands dirty,” junior Nicholas Felt said. “It’s educating yourself on what’s going on. How many people here read the 2016 DNC Democratic platform? Understand the issues. Know what you’re fighting for.”
Members of College Democrats searched within their party to find possible weaknesses that caused Clinton’s unexpected loss.
Andrew Guidarelli, sophomore aviation and political science major, cited extremist liberalism as the cause of extremist conservatism.
“When Oberlin College students make a bigger deal about their Americanized Chinese food than actual economic policies that hurt people, that gives conservatives a reason to laugh at us,” Guidarelli said.
Students at the notoriously liberal-leaning Ohioan campus made headlines when they claimed dining hall Asian recipes were culturally appropriative; some publications mocked their claims, while others justified the reasoning that traditional dishes, like Indian tandoori, were made in an insensitive fashion, by including ingredients like beef, which is outlawed by the Hindu religion.
OUCDs also briefly discussed controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos’ upcoming campus visit, addressing the racism, ableism and xenophobia that they feel “white supremacist” Trump and his triumphant supporters could bring.
Ending the meeting optimistically, members vowed to focus energy on closely watching new local and state government members, and staying involved in new legislature despite being underrepresented federally as a party.
“I thought we had an unbelievably productive discussion,” Communications Director Andy Price said. “It’s easy to talk and rant on Facebook, but we all got together, we shared our feelings, and we’re going to come off of this much more motivated, much stronger. We’re fired up and ready to go.”
There will not be an OUCD meeting next Tuesday because of Thanksgiving; however, regular meetings will resume the following week at 8 p.m. in Baker 231.