Tarleton professors host election panel


Dr. Jesus Velasco discusses how the world views President Donald Trump.

Kristen Bowman, Contributor

On January 26, Tarleton State University professors discussed the important changes that they thought could come of the 2016 Presidential election.

“The objective of this discussion was the hear and consider from a panel of experts,” explained Dr. Michael Landis, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences.

The goal was to explain what they know of the new president based on their research and inform students of things that they might not know.

The first speaker was Dr. Malcom Cross, Professor of Social Sciences, who talked about the political parties. He explained that part of Hillary Clinton’s loss was due to her focus areas, such as the upper Midwest. In addition, Clinton focused on areas that she could not possibly win.

The second speaker was Dr. Jensen Branscombe, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, who talked about immigration and the LGBTQ community. She started by explaining that we do not know what the results of the election may mean for the future.

However, there are many areas for concern. For example, Trump has already started off the project to build the wall along the Mexico border. Branscombe also said Trump has put forward a mindset of anti-Muslim and anti-refugee. Branscombe also explained that there is fear of what may happen in the LGBTQ+ community because of the silence from Trump. However, the people have not been as silent because of the awareness that has been raised from refugees, immigrants, LGBTQ people and more.

The third speaker was Dr. Ann Calahan, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, who talked about the impact that Trump may have on education. Calahan explained that it is important to pay close attention to the rhetoric within the Republican Platform.

Calahan reviewed some of the questionable points within the platform. For example, one of the points made stated that parents should have the choice of their child’s education. In other words, if a parent decided to homeschool their child, then the parent should be paid around $650 to educate their child. Some children and parents would benefit from this; however there would be some children whose education would be neglected.

Finally, Calahan shared some troublesome numbers about the youth of today; a fourth of the nation’s children is in poverty and 33 percent are homeless.

The fourth speaker was Dr. Jesus Velasco, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, who talked about the world view of Trump. Up front, Velasco explained that the views he intended to present were not his, but of the voices around the world. Velasco reported that currently there is worry about Trump’s election being the “end of the world.” In other words, Trump’s election is viewed as devastating for the United States and the world. Velasco explained that many people think the United States is no longer a democracy, but an imperialist country. Furthermore, Velasco brought humor into his presentation when talking about the wall that Trump wants to build

“If the wall is built, Mexico will be the next Olympic champion in Pole Vault,” laughed Velasco.

Velasco ended with the importance of learning politics and languages to help the millennials understand the mentality of other countries and not just our own.

The final speaker was Dr. Ebony Hall, Assistant Professor of the Social Work Program, who talked about race and diversity. She started by talking about the tensions that have been created by Trump. She then explained that we have to be problem solvers and develop solutions to have a better nation. Hall then explained that terms such as, color blindness and equal treatment, are detrimental to growth. People need to start having courageous conversations about race and diversity. Through these intentional conversations, everyone can learn and explore other heritages. It is also important for us to explore our own heritage because where we come from plays an important role to where we are going. Finally, Hall ended by encouraging students not to act on emotion because they might come to regret it.

After the panel, students were able to ask the professors questions.

Briana Welsh, Residential Coordinator for Texan Village, University Village, Venture and Lone Star Apartments, created the event and claims that there will be more discussions in the future so that students can be further educated on new topics.