Town Hall Meeting Held to Ease Post Election Tensions
On Tuesday Feb. 28 at 6 p.m., co-sponsors of the J. Glenn Beall Institute for Public Affairs, the FSU Office of Civic Engagement, and the Student Government Association (SGA) held the first town hall meeting of the spring 2017 semester.
The town hall meeting was held in effort to try to alleviate the tensions that had been rising since the election of now President Donald Trump. President Trump’s rash ways have provided significant concerns for many students on campus. The concerns were able to be heard at the meeting among several anti-Trump students.
The town hall meeting began with about 40 people in the room as people continued to trickle in until about a quarter after six. The room was set up with 14 round tables that sat about eight people each. With good attendance at the event came attendance from President Nowacyzk, vice president for Student Affairs Dr. Bowling, interim provost Dr. Tootoonchi, assistant vice president Bill Mandicott, the Residents Life Office, and members of Student Government Association.
The meeting kicked off with political science faculty member and director of the Beall Institute, Tim Magrath, instructing each table to simply start with open dialogue in regards the election. Following a short period of open dialogue, President Nowacyzk gave a short opening speech about the pride he had for the students here at FSU.
Once President Nowacyzk closed his speech, it was a very open town hall meeting where the microphones were passed from student to student voicing their opinions. Like previous town hall meetings held on campus, this event featured Frostburg State students, faculty, and staff with a committed appreciation for civic engagement and a desire for civil political discourse.
The room was filled with the majority being anti-Trump students; however, there were two students who came to the meeting who were pro-Trump. A pivotal moment in that evening was when junior “J” Gourdin asked to one pro-Trump student what she could do to help them feel safe enough to speak up about their opinions rather than berating them with hers.
From there the meeting continued in more a respectful and positive manner as people were thanking each other while sharing opinions. Some students even apologized for the words and actions of President Trump, as others expressed sincere concern about what was happening in the country.
The town hall meeting series will continue throughout the semester with a variety of other topics. The information for upcoming meetings will posted throughout the Lane University Center.