Universities offer counseling and ‘healing spaces’ to students distraught over Trump win

With the landmark UC Davis water tower looming in the background, the new UC Davis Mondavi Center is seen Friday January 4, 2002.
With the landmark UC Davis water tower looming in the background, the new UC Davis Mondavi Center is seen Friday January 4, 2002. Sacramento Bee File Photo

UC Davis and Sacramento State are offering counseling services to students distraught over Republican Donald Trump’s surprise presidential win Tuesday.

“We have heard from a number of individuals in our campus community who are concerned about the results of yesterday’s U.S. election and potential outcomes,” stated an email message sent to UC Davis students Wednesday morning.

Counselors were available at multiple locations on the UC Davis campus Wednesday, according to the message from interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter and Vice Chancellor Adela de la Torre.

They encouraged students to take advantage of walk-in urgent care mental health services in the Student Health and Wellness Center or to call the campus advice nurse. Walk-in support and “healing spaces” were available at the Undocumented Student Center, Cross Cultural Center, Women’s Research and Resources Center and the Center for African Diaspora Student Success, as well as at resource centers for the LGBTQ, Latino and Native American communities.

Davis was perhaps the most heavily skewed city in the Sacramento region in support of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nearly 82 percent of Davis voters supported Clinton, compared to 12 percent for Trump.

On Wednesday evening, Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen also posted a message to students and employees encouraging those anxious about election results to make use of campus counseling programs. He reminded the campus community to go to the Red Folder website to learn how to identify and assist students in distress.

Nelsen reminded students that they have the right to peacefully protest on the public campus and encouraged them to exchange ideas peacefully.

“Despite our differences, we are still a Hornet Family, and we will always be strongest when we work together,” he said. “We must honor each other and stand in solidarity with the members of our community who feel afraid, unsafe or threatened. While many of us may feel uncertain about what may come, I can assure you that the university will be here to listen and offer support.”

UC President Janet Napolitano and 10 campus chancellors sent a message Wednesday stating that UC is “proud of being a diverse and welcoming place for students.” In particular, her message was directed at undocumented students who may be anxious about a repeal of President Barack Obama’s protection against deportation.

The announcements follow a night of unrest on at least four UC campuses, including UC Davis, after the anno.uncement that Trump had won the presidency.

UC Davis students and other protesters marched through the campus and onto the streets of downtown Davis, blocking the intersection in front of the Whole Foods Market, near First and Richards, for a short period Tuesday night, said Sgt. James MacNiven of the Davis Police Department.

UC Davis police estimate the number of protesters was about 2,000, said Dana Topousis, university spokeswoman.

“I think a lot of people were upset and it just grew and grew,” said Carli Hambley, a UC Davis student who joined the protest. “There were a lot of people in the street.”

Hambley said the protest went on for several hours but that students only stayed in the downtown intersection for about 40 minutes because of the large police presence.

MacNiven said there were five Davis Police Department officers at the scene, as well as some UC Davis police officers. He said he was unaware of any arrests.

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert

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