Students react to Trump’s inauguration as 45th president


(Allie Goulding/The Daily Northwestern) Zane Waxman (SESP ’16) addresses a group of students at Norris University Center on Friday. Student Action NU organized the protest in response to the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.

Matthew Choi and Jonah Dylan

As Donald Trump was sworn in on Friday, students both demonstrated against 45th president’s inauguration and flew across the country to witness the ceremony.

Student Action NU organized a protest in Norris University Center, during which four students spoke about how they could fight Trump’s agenda. The student speakers urged attendees to remain vocal in their opposition and to keep local officials accountable.

The organizers estimated that 50 or 60 students attended the protest. SESP sophomore Ben Powell, who is also on the Student Action NU leadership team, said Friday was just the beginning.

“We are planning more events to resist Trump,” he said. “A lot of that’s going to look more like phone banking for progressive candidates and working with other student groups around Chicago to take part in larger anti-Trump actions.”

Zane Waxman (SESP ’16), who helped organize the event with the leadership of Student Action NU, said he was happy with the turnout for Friday’s protest. Waxman said one of the best ways to oppose Trump’s agenda is to support local candidates who also oppose him.

“Our goal was to build community around a group of students who are interested in fighting against Trump and his agenda and what he represents,” he said.

Other students traveled to the District to witness or protest the inauguration.

Weinberg junior Diana Fu traveled to Washington after receiving tickets through a lottery hosted by her U.S. House representative. Once she got to the capital, though, she decided against attending the actual ceremonies. Fu, who identifies as a progressive liberal, participated in protests organized by the ANSWER Coalition, which coordinated many of the demonstrations that day in Washington.

“His campaign was divisive and hateful. As an environmental scientist, as an Asian American, those are sort of things I study in school, and things that make up my identity, and what I think is important in the world,” Fu said. “His campaign was really against what I stood for.”

But even among protesters, Fu said she could see divisive politics in action. Protestors and Trump supporters stood in close proximity and would get into confrontations that at times turned violent.

Not all students felt the same antipathy toward the inauguration. Weinberg junior Logan Peretz also made last-minute travel plans to attend the ceremony after his cousin offered him tickets.

Though Peretz, a registered Republican, did not vote for Trump in the November general election, he said attending the inauguration was still a valuable opportunity to witness history.

“I figured I have this opportunity to see part of history, for better or for worse, and I don’t know in four years where I’ll be, if I’ll have the opportunity to do this,” Peretz said. “Not to cheer him on, but rather just observe the feat that was the end of this whole election.”

Peretz added that despite his disagreements with the Republican president, the peaceful transition of power was a hallmark moment in history that was valuable to witness.

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