At 11 o’clock in the morning, Nov. 9, in the country of Malaysia, Mariatul Dianah Hidzir’s parents had just received the news of President-Elect Donald Trump’s victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The news came as both a shock and a surprise to the Malaysian family. Hidzir, program assistant for the Center for Multicultural Education, explains how the results of the election left them feeling concerned for their daughter’s safety.
“I had been texting my parents – they are worried about me,” Hidzir said. “They ask if I’m going to take this head scarf off after this, because as much as I want to deny it, it really is obvious.”
Hidzir said she’s worried about the impression Trump gave his voters when talking negatively about minority groups and immigration.
“Gun control on campus might change; somebody a student might come to campus and bring a gun and observe me from afar being different and decide to shoot me at any time,” Hidzir said. “As much as I want to deny the fact that I’m frightened, I can’t. I am frightened, and anything can happen from this point on.”
There is one place where Hidzir explains she feels safe.
“As long as I’m on campus, [in] college, my professors are here, and my friends are here, and I really do feel safe in that way,” Hidzir said.
Other minority groups on campus have also spoken out following the results of the election. CME Program Assistant Alexis Williams says Trump’s win feels like a step backwards for America.
“I was devastated, I think is pretty much how you would describe that,” Williams said. “I think I was heartbroken not necessarily because he was president, but in America in general because I felt like we had come so far.”
The Pride Alliance on campus is also feeling the pressure after Trump’s win. Member Kate Chapman says under the leadership of people like Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, who is openly against LGBT members, the future for the minority group is unclear.
“It’s just going to be a set back for the entire community as well as other communities that are in the minority, and it’s just kind of sad to watch because there’s only so much you can do,” Chapman said.
Trump’s victory has left many feeling like America has taken a wrong turn, but that bodes the question: why was he elected? Political Science professor Melinda Kovács explains the workings of Trump’s campaign platform.
“It’s a very exclusionary, very violently coercively hateful platform, and that platform won,” Kovács said. “Now, it won because of the electoral college.”
The Electoral College is all states but Nebraska and Maine giving all of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote in that state.
The college is made of 538 electors who cast the official votes for the state. The number of electors per state is determined by the number of U.S representatives the state has, plus the state’s two senators. This system sometimes ends with a candidate winning the electoral college, but not also winning the popular vote.
“The electoral college votes are not really proportionate to the size of the population,” Kovács said.
In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote over Trump by 219,762 votes, but lost the electoral votes. This happened in the 2000 election when George W. Bush won over popular vote winner Al Gore.
Williams says the CME worked hard on encouraging people to vote, but hearing that Clinton won the popular vote but not the presidency makes her feel like their voice wasn’t heard.
“Just to say that she won but she’s still not president, I feel like they were right – our votes don’t matter,” Williams said. “That’s literally what you told America, that yes you can go out and vote, yes you can go stand in line for three hours, but it’s literally up to the electoral people.”
Kovács says those who feel the same way and have begun protesting Trump’s victory should not be protesting his presidency, but should focus their attention to the Electoral College.
“They are not protesting the electoral college, the people who are currently protesting are not running around saying we need to get rid of the electoral college, which is the way I think it should go,” Kovács said.
As far as protesting goes, the minority students on campus, like Hidzir, feel Missouri Western probably won’t see any protests on campus, but the student organizations would not be opposed to the idea.
“If it does happen, I’m not against it,” Hidzir said. “If it does happen, I would like to see a really safe one. I don’t want to see like fire here, fire there. It can happen, but I don’t want to see anyone hurt.”
Other minority groups on campus such as the Pride Alliance say they would also join the protests if one were to arise. Members like Chapman explain how the group would become involved.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we started working with the Black Student Union and the NAACP organization; if they were to stage something we wouldn’t be opposed to helping out, because it is important,” Chapman said.
Aside from protesting, Kovács says it’s important to keep your voice heard in order to make a change and work towards flipping congress, not in the 2020 election, but in 2018 legislative elections.
“If I shut up that means that they got to me, that I got silenced because I think voicing, speaking out is the strategy to use,” Kovács said.
Hidzir says the only way to see change in the upcoming elections is to stick together.
“I really do feel that people have to be stronger, I really do feel that unity is extremely important from this point on,” Hidzir said.