HSU creates election coping resources for students

Post election assistance for those that feel anxious about the future of the country
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Post election assistance for those that feel anxious about the future of the country

From educational campaigns across social media to election dialogues, Humboldt State University provides students with resources despite the difficulty of being virtual. Check It! and Associated Students are working to give students the counseling and services they need.

Students can also learn ways to keep themselves and others safe while taking part in community action. Faculty from Native American studies, history and environmental law will host a panel to discuss the history of elections, social change movements and impacts.

“Our purpose and our responsibility is here to educate students about the importance of voting and why to vote, and then providing them the space if and when they need to or want to decompress,” said Kresl.

Dean of Students Eboni Turnbow sent an email to students Oct. 30 to remind and students of HSU’s resources for the election.

“We encourage our students to exercise their First Amendment rights in a safe and healthy way,” Turnbow said in an email. “For some this is on social media, others through dialogue with family and friends, and others through community action. Despite your preferred outlet, we want to help you be prepared.”

Two election follow ups by Counseling and Psych Services, Associated Students, and the Dean of Students Office will meet on Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. and Nov. 12 at noon to discuss anxiety and fear following the election.

El Centro, the LatinX center will discuss the elections this Fri., Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. as well.

HSU also created the HSU Votes website to give students resources and information regarding voting and to give students resources while social distancing.

“No matter which way this goes, there is going to be stress and anxiety and anger on both and on either side, not exclusively because of the outcome but because of the whole process,” said HSU Student Life Coordinator Molly Kresl.

CAPS has drop-in hours on Wednesday and a crisis hotline for students who are experiencing any emotions post election, or if they just need to talk.

Additionally, a virtual tool-kit has been created for students that provides information about self care, difficult dialogues, election education, resources and how to navigate emotions and stress during and after elections.

“At the core of it is for students to know that we see them, we recognize them, and we value them,” said Kresl.

HSU has recommended, not mandated, faculty to limit assignments if they can, check in with students and provide resources within their class. HSU recommended groups and organizations exercise activities this week to provide support to students.

“Remember, feeling overwhelmed is human and natural, so using these vital resources is important to self-care,” Turnbow said in the email.

Despite the election results, students are reminded that their vote matters, and HSU will be ready to support them in any way they feel and react.

Wrenna Williams is a forestry and restoration major who is taking a gap year due to COVID-19. Williams voted and expressed the anxiety that followed, but won’t use HSU’s services due to it being strictly available for students currently enrolled.

“Especially if I was living on campus still, I would totally go use those services. They’re great,” said Williams.

Carlos Ochoa-Silvas, a freshman at HSU, mailed in his voting ballots a few weeks ago and expressed concern toward the election, the aftermath and riots. He said he would think about reaching out to HSU’s services if he felt too anxious.

“I definitely think that it’s important for people who are more sensitive about the topic or people who want to express how they feel with the community and see other people’s views,” Ochoa-Silvas said.

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