Adult Students Crying, Cocooning and Coloring Books After Election


Colleges and universities across the country are allowing and encouraging their adult students to vent, cry and lament the election results.

On the campus of Cornell University, students organized a “cry-in” to mourn the results of the election, said The Wall Street Journal. Staff and faculty handed out tissues, blankets, and hot chocolate to cocoon the students who gathered to grieve the election results.

According to The Cornell Daily Sun,

Zoe Maisel ’18, co-president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Cornell, said she and co-president Cassidy Clark ’17 began organizing the cry-in last night for ‘those of us who have been fighting’.” Maisel continued, “We need to just take a break and just cry before … tomorrow we get back up and keep fighting, because people feel really, really powerless,” she said. Maisel went on to say, “Two weeks ago, the co-president and I jokingly said ‘Oh, we need to do something if Trump wins,” but never actually thought that would happen.

At Tufts University outside of Boston, Massachusetts, university staff offered arts and crafts to students emotionally affected by Trump’s election. Tufts University had a massive get out the vote effort leading up to the November 8th election, called ‘Jumbo Vote.’

Tufts University has launched JumboVote 2016 as a multifaceted, university-wide initiative to boost political learning, engagement, and voting in this year’s presidential election—and beyond. Spearheaded by Tisch College with support from the Office of the Provost, there are JumboVote 2016 representatives in every Tufts school and major administrative department, as well as among the student body.

The Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion office at Hofstra University, the university that hosted the first of the three 2016 general election debates between Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Donald Trump, hosted a special class Wednesday titled “A Way Forward: A Discussion on the 2016 Presidential Election.”

Hofstra students also held a public event on Nov. 9 to air their grievances.

Students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison were able to access the multicultural student center’s lounge at any time during the day. The school Chancellor also released a letter in regard to the election outcome.

The school’s Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in the lengthy letter posted on her blog, Blank Slate, “ Close elections like we’ve just experienced can result in a range of reactions. In the coming days, I ask that people engage respectfully in debate over current events. We’re providing space for community discussions with staff on hand to listen and provide support”.

At the University of Pennsylvania, many groups and professors on campus either had special events, classes, or cancelled events and classes altogether. The University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann urged acceptance in a statement to the campus community.

“This Presidential campaign was one of the most bitter, divisive and hurtful in American history,” she said.

Whoever won, millions of people were going to be terribly troubled by the results. The American people have now voted, and it is our duty to respect the outcome. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or citizenship, everyone needs to be heard and respected. I fervently believe that the diversity of America and its welcoming heart make this country great.

Gutmann continued, “It is my hope that ideals that we hold dear at Penn — inclusion, civic engagement, and constructive dialogue – will guide our nation’s new administration and that they will work hard to ensure opportunity, peace and prosperity for every person and every group that together form the diverse mosaic of the United States.”

According to a reporter for, Amanda Agyapong an eighteen-year-old sophomore, psychology pre-med major from Ghana said, “I literally couldn’t get out of bed.” Agyapong then “skipped class Wednesday morning, so devastated that she said she didn’t want to leave her room. It was only when Penn’s black cultural center offered to host a lunch that she decided to go and be with other students.”

Trey Boynton, Director of Multi-Ethnic Affairs at the University of Michigan, let adult students play with play-doh and color in coloring books in an effort to ease the pain of the Trump victory. “People are frustrated, people are just really sad and shocked,” Boynton said. “A lot of people are feeling like there has been a loss. We talked about grief today and about the loss of hope that this election would solidify the progress that was being made.”