Updated: Friday, Nov. 11 at 8:54 p.m.
This post was written by reporters Elise Zaidi and Callie Schiffman.
Hundreds of students gathered in Kogan Plaza Wednesday night to stand in solidarity with communities directly affected by the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump.
Hosted by Our Revolution GW, the event was titled “Post-election group cry: Tissues and issues” and called for GW students to join with student leaders from GW’s liberal, multicultural and religious groups in the face of unapologetic white supremacy, according to the Facebook page for the event.
Keiko Tsuboi, one of the event coordinators, said they organized the event to support students from different backgrounds who will be marginalized by the Trump presidency.
“We organized this as soon as we got up because we walked outside and the campus was dead. The looks on people’s faces was just shock, disappointment, and pure disbelief,” Tsuboi said. “We knew it was going to takes weeks and months to process all of this and let the reality of our president sink in.”
Tsuboi added that while students should take the time to process the changes, GW also needs to start mobilizing for the future.
Student Association Sen. Devan Cole, CCAS-U, said he has never seen such gloom on campus and hopes GW can rise above stories he has heard of people calling others derogatory racial slurs since news broke Tuesday night.
“I came out here to show solidarity with my brother and sisters, the marginalized and the vulnerable on this campus who are living in such fear right now, who are discouraged and confused and scared. We are here to support them,” Cole said.
SA Director of Sustainability Frank Fritz said students on campus are fearful that a Trump presidency will bring Islamophobia, anti-black sentiment, homophobia, anti-queerness and misogyny to the forefront of the American consciousness.
“I would say most GW students would not have expected the outcome that we had. We saw a candidate who is the antithesis of the values that we embrace at this university,” Fritz said. “We organized this rally because Donald Trump has brought immense and unprecedented hatred to our campaign trail.”
Other students who attended the event commented said they also noticed the somber tone that has fallen on campus.
Progressive Student Union member Kei Pritsker said students on campus are shocked as students struggle to take the news of Trump’s election well.
“I don’t think anyone saw this coming and I still don’t think people are ready to cope with this reality,” Pritsker said.
Amira Bakir, a student at the event, said she has turned to her friends from all different religions and backgrounds for support on campus.
“It was a surreal moment. I am from a first generation immigrant family. I am a Muslim American. Today was really hard because I called my parents and they were just so removed from everything that is happening here. They didn’t know how to support me,” Bakir said.
Olive Eisdorfer said the “numb” mood on campus and in D.C. comes from the uncertainty people feel in what a Trump presidency means for themselves, their families, friends and student organizations.
“Seeing hundreds of GW people that supported each other and that were here to listen and here out in the cold to was exactly what people needed,” Eisdorfer said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Keiko Tsuboi’s name. It is spelled correctly now. We regret this error.