Students sit in solidarity after election

Junior nursing major Tiffany Croff and junior public relations major Aliyana Pena join hands in the unity circle at the K on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Black United Students organized a class walk-out to provide Kent State students a meditative space in response to the presidential election outcome. 

A peaceful demonstration took place Thursday afternoon at Risman Plaza in response to the concern from Kent State students regarding Tuesday’s presidential election results. President-elect Donald Trump took a victory in the race.

Sophomore digital media production major Terrance Liggins, the director of public relations for Black United Students (BUS), said he was in shock after the election results.

However, he tried to offer reassurance by saying the election can’t stop individuals from feeling like they are accepted. BUS organized a walkout from Oscar Ritchie Hall to Risman Plaza where they then held a “unity circle:” Students peacefully sat in one large circle in solidarity.

Liggins said the unity circle was meant to reinforce the idea that Kent State’s campus will come together and stay inclusive.

“(This) wasn’t to protest,” Liggins said. “(It was) just to give people a space to feel unified to feel safe; to know that there are people who will look out for them no matter what race, gender (or) sexual orientation.”

Jordyn Lally, a senior psychology major, participated in the event.

Lally said there were African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians there in support.

“It’s not like an anti-Trump rally in any kind of way,” Lally said. “We’re just trying to see where we fit and all kind of unite ourselves together in light of all the hate we’ve been seeing directed at us.”

Antoine French, a freshman public health major, said this demonstration wasn’t just about politics, it was about the people — and the heaviness in the circle showed that. French added that it felt good to be a part of the circle and sit there.

“You never get to show how you really feel,” French said. “You have to be quiet all the time. It’s time to raise our voices, but in a peaceful manner.”

Kat Frank, a freshman public relations major, said it was a time for all different races, genders and sexualities to come together.

“I’m here because I’m friends with a lot of (BUS members), and I’m trying to be aware of social inequality,” Frank said. “I need to check my privilege.”

Liggins said the turnout of the demonstration was wonderful.

“I think the campus will see that we have our thoughts about the election,” Liggins said. “We aren’t going to sit idle. No matter what happens, we will always promote a positive and inclusive environment.”

Cameron Gorman, Samantha Karam and Nichola Nease are diversity reporters.