DVC holds “safe space” for students in need after election results


Nikki Moylan

Students and faculty came together to peacefully protest in the DVC Commons on Mon. Nov. 14.

Nikki Moylan, Staff member

Faculty and students came together Monday afternoon in the Commons at Diablo Valley College to share their feelings and fears after the election of Donald Trump as president.

The “safe space” was held throughout all community colleges in California, and about 300 gathered peacefully at DVC, with some holding signs and encouraging others to share their thoughts.

One of the first to speak publicly was Rosa Armendariz, stating that, “There is hurt and fear among the community. There must be responsibility for our actions. We must honor all cultural and gender identities in this space.”

Andy Barlowe spoke next, adding that DVC is a “college of inclusion,” despite the challenges that can happen.

“Differences are what make us great and who we are,” he said to an enthusiastic crowd.

DVC Interim President Ted Weiden admitted that he had a meeting to attend that afternoon, but felt he should stay with the crowd and their cause.

Weiden said, “We can have different opinions and disagree, but we can’t be disagreeable with each other.”

One faculty member openly admitted that it was one of her hardest weeks of teaching, one that she described as being filled with sadness, disappointment, and pain.

“This is about combating hate speech, and regardless of political party it is not OK. It’s disheartening. I’ve never seen anything like this. I have been giving and receiving a lot of hugs,” she said.

Students were also quick to share their opinions of how the election outcome has affected them personally, along with their peers.

Student David Wiegleb, encouraged listeners to “fill the switchboards” and call local representatives and senators about rescinding Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon.

Bannon is the head of Breitbart News, and Wiegleb described him as a “defender of white privilege.”

“Make sure people understand who he is, and that what he does is not right,” Wiegleb said.

Jonathan Watkins, a student and veteran, shared that he got a lot of thank yous from people this past Veteran’s Day, and shared why he fought for our country.

“We vets fight for a United States. That includes everyone,” he said.

Some student participants also reminded the rest of the crowd to make sure to help those who are unprivileged and stand up for someone who is experiencing inequality.

There is no word on whether another gathering will be held this semester.