Week Seven-Fall 2016

McKenzie Lakey, Editor-in-Chief

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As of 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the newsroom was split. The election was playing out on multiple computer screens across the room as we watched the results play out before us.

A few of the editors and reporters even hunkered down in the SURC Pit to watch the night unfold with the 150 or so students that joined in for the Election Night Bash.

Within the newsroom we have a fairly decent divide of conservatives, liberals and middle-of-the-roaders who work on the paper. The majority of us tend to fall in the middle, making this election even more difficult to watch since most of us weren’t thrilled with either candidate (a sentiment that I think we can safely say is mutual throughout the country).

Overall the election was too close to call for most of the night–leaving all of us a bit on edge.

We even had one reporter going as far as sitting in the corner of the newsroom, reading his Facebook feed and describing in depth what the trenches of social media had to say.

Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the most inspiring commentary that the newsroom has ever been subjected to…

But at 1 a.m., when we knew that Donald Trump would be our next president and we sent off our final updates on the election, I couldn’t help but think that our country would’ve been okay regardless of who was elected.

And sure enough when I woke up the morning after the election, I wasn’t surprised that we were still the same country that we were on Tuesday before any results came in.

Granted, there are protests occurring across the nation as we speak. Individuals are expressing their frustrations and confusion over how someone with little-to-no political experience could be chosen as the next leader of the free world.

I’d like to note that many of the protestors that I have seen on the news have been from universities, shouting “Fuck Donald Trump.” While the fact that they are being so vocal and exercising their individual rights is praiseworthy, I don’t see much progress to come from shouting profanity in the streets following the decision.

As college students we tend to be caught between being stuck in between the education system and what everyone likes to refer to as “the real world.” We often overlook the fact that children have access to media and are consuming everything that we put out there for the world to see, including our protests (peaceful or not).

To many of these children, we are older siblings or relatives. Maybe we’re just the next generation that they will aspire to be like. Either way, this is our chance to show them how educated, respectable individuals react to adversity.

They will either see us carry-on and persevere for the betterment of our country, or they will watch us crumble under this severe divide that we can continue to harbor.

That choice falls to us, and we need to be aware of it as we post on social media, respond to counterarguments and even protest in the streets.  

In all honesty, I’m not even all that concerned about the presidential election. Sure, it’s incredibly important and something that should not be overlooked. But the state-wide elections are what seemed to blow me away.

An initiative to gradually increase minimum-wage over the next several years also passed in Washington.

The impact of this vote sounds great–in theory. But did voters truly think of the impact of this before voting? As the child of a small business owner, I have to say I’m disappointed in this decision.

I’ve grown up in a community that thrives on the support of small businesses, but this initiative could harm that environment.

The common debate is that an increase in wages will likely only lead to higher prices. And while I’m sure there are counterarguments out there willing to dispute this, the fact is, business owners will surely do this in order to recuperate their lost revenue.

For a corporation, this change will probably be only a minor bump, but for a small company this could be detrimental.

Maybe I’m simply looking at the negative aspects of this, but I believe that the importance of local issues is constantly overlooked in the grand scheme of the election. Local issues matter and we need to take note of their impact as well.

However, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the results say. We have the power to unite this nation, regardless of the votes and regardless of the individual that will occupy the Oval Office.

This is a time where we need to turn to each other for support and guidance on issues that will affect us all, not turn our backs on our neighbors just because their ballot looks different.

You will choose whether this nation stands tall or fails. Continue to stay positive and don’t turn to hatred as your answer. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, just remember that we are all Americans and above all, we are all humans.

Good luck, Wildcats.

-McKenzie Lakey, EIC

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Week Seven-Fall 2016