Faculty, students call for ‘civil discussion’ despite division


“…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


Division continues to seize the nation after election results poured in last week, and Franklin College faculty and students are calling for civil discussion.

Vulgar homemade signs, Trump-Pence signs and LGBTQ pride flags hang in windows across campus, while students participate in various movements to show their support or disapproval of the results.

Although students are encouraged to voice their opinions and stand for their individual beliefs, Dean of Students Ellis Hall said lashing out against opponents is not the best way to do it.

“This is obviously a difficult time for lots of people, not just on campus but across the country,” Hall said. “Some of what we’re seeing is a reflection of what is happening everywhere as people try to come to terms with their feelings, their emotions, their hopes of where this country is going.”

Hall said the results created a need for everyone to shift their perspective of the future of the nation, which he added is “not surprising.”

Hall said he hopes both students and faculty react in compliance to the college’s values, which include respect and inclusivity.

“Anytime someone steps out of compliance or takes action that isn’t fitting with those values, I’m concerned and the college is concerned,” Hall said. “Address those feelings in appropriate ways. It’s okay to talk about it. It’s okay to talk to each other and say, ‘I don’t understand,’ but that conversation must be done in a respectful and supportive manner.”

Junior Taylor Condre is making it a priority to ensure the discussion continues.

When she first saw the election results, she said she was upset. Although she said she didn’t support Hillary Clinton 100 percent, she felt Clinton was the best candidate against Trump.

In an effort to stand for her views, she is participating in two movements. Condre started wearing a hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women, to show solidarity for her “Muslim brothers and sisters.”

“I’m a huge advocate for interfaith discussion, especially when it comes to Islam, because I think that Islam is seriously misunderstood,” Condre said. “It gives a chance to humanize the religion and make people see that it isn’t just terrorists who are Muslim and really start that conversation on campus.”

Additionally, Condre is participating in the safety pin movement, which originated in the United Kingdom following the Brexit vote as a way to express solidarity for refugees and immigrants.

She said the safety pin signifies that she is a safe person to talk to. She wears it in her hijab for people to see it.

And although these movements serve as a way for Condre and other students to publicly show disapproval of the results, she said discussion is the real key.

“This election has definitely divided the campus and the country. That’s really sad,” Condre said. “But having those conversations are really important, and it’s important to realize that we can still get along and do good on our campus, in the country and around the world—even if we disagree.”

While senior Sam Pollock said he was not a Trump supporter nor a Clinton supporter he fully supports his classmates’ right to express their own opinions.

“It’s extremely important to voice your views, as long as it’s written or verbal, whether it’s marching or protesting in some way, that’s great,” Pollock said. “That’s the correct way to do it—voice your opinion and let it be known. But the line is drawn when you’re destructive or violent toward another individual.”

Dean Hall noted that while several students are struggling with the outcome of the election, a majority of students on campus are reacting appropriately.

And over his several years spent in education, Hall said he’s never been a witness to such a heated response to an election result.

“Seek dialogue and conversation and self-reflection about what you’re feeling and then act on that in a responsible manner, rather than in a compulsive or rash manner,” Hall said.


A whiteboard hanging on a student’s dorm door was the source of a political exchange on campus. In the first photo, the board was vandalized with the saying, “Killary is going to prison,” among other remarks. The student who lives in the dorm responded with a quote from Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.” The whiteboard exchange is one of many encounters students with differing political views have had following the Nov. 8 election results.

About Shelby Mullis 21 Articles
Shelby Mullis is the copy chief of The Franklin. She is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com and teaches English as a second language to Chinese students overseas. Shelby enjoys exploring, writing, eating potatoes and admiring local weatherman Chuck Lofton.

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