SIU students gather Wednesday night to reflect on election results


Asia Lee, a masters student in business administration from Chicago, speaks to Lamont Blackman, a senior from Chicago studying aviation, while students gather on the steps of Shryock Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, before a group reflection with Rev. Joseph Brown in response to Donald Trump’s presidency. The reflection began with a performance of Amazing Grace and ended with speeches from Brown and Lee. “Are we not feeling today like we’ve been thrown back in the bottom of a ship on our way to somewhere dangerous and death-inducing?” said Brown, a professor of Africana Studies. “So somebody suggested, even in the darkest hour, let’s get together with just a little bit of light and find a way to tell each other you may have been blind, but oh, now you see.” (Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

By Tyra Wooten

When Asia Lee woke up Wednesday morning, she expected to be greeted with news of the country’s first female president. Instead, the election of Donald Trump as America’s next commander in chief shocked her.  

“Is this what we really worked for?” asked Lee, a graduate student in business administration from Chicago, who hosted 30 minutes of reflection in front of Shryock Auditorium on Wednesday night. “All the blood, sweat and tears to get a result like this…”

Candles lit the night sky as Change is Gonna Come,” by Sam Cooke, played behind concerned voices as the group was given the space to express its shock, sadness and anger over the outcomes of the elections.


Lee said she felt prayers and reflections were the only solutions to this presidential outcome, which is why she organized the event.

“Everybody needs to get together and be united because our country is divided,” she said.

The Rev. Joseph Brown, a professor in Africana studies, spoke to those gathered about the importance of reflection.

“We would not gather on this cool evening in the dark if we did not feel a need to bond through our pain,” Brown said.

Brandon Kyles, a junior from Chicago studying journalism, said he woke up crying at 4 a.m. Wednesday.

“I’m terrified for myself and family because I know we are on different levels of privilege,” he said.

“The biggest problem we have faced in the last 48 hours is how many of us wanted to be blind to what was right in front of us,” Brown said. “Today I’m scared. Tomorrow I have a will to change and I can’t do it alone.”


Staff writer Tyra Wooten can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @twootenDE.

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