We have received some concerned questions from prospective students about last week’s U.S. election results and what a Trump presidency means for students applying to SIPA. As a school of public and international affairs, SIPA has always been a place where students of different backgrounds can come together to peacefully and respectfully discuss their political views and challenge each other to expand their worldviews. We want to reassure everyone that SIPA will continue to encourage students to be open with each other and to advocate for what they believe in while respecting all members of our community.

As a current student, it is clear to me that SIPA strives to be a supportive community for all of its students. In the days since the election there have been several discussions and forums set up for students to express their reactions to the election results, and a tremendous out pour of support from SIPA faculty and peers. Professors have been available to share their views and reflect on what the election means for the SIPA community, and students have gathered together to strategize for the coming years. The election results may have come as a shock to many, but that hasn’t gotten SIPA students down. This gives us the opportunity to use what we have learned here at SIPA and to unite together. I came to SIPA to advance my career in human rights advocacy, and this election cycle has only strengthened my resolve to achieve that goal.

Whether you are upset or happy with the results of the election, and in the wake of political events the world over, it is time for everyone to take a long hard look at what the political system has become and how we can make it better. SIPA is the place for you to do that. The coursework, along with the opportunities to interact with experts in their respective fields and peers from around the world, will give you the knowledge and tools to overcome the challenges our world faces today. It is our responsibility to challenge what we see as unjust and to advocate on the behalf of others that are unable to do so themselves. SIPA will be just one stepping stone towards the positive change we all want for ourselves and the world.

[Photo courtesy of Alejandra Rivera Flavia | New Yorkers posted Post-Its on subway walls to express their feelings about the election results.]