Inauguration brings excitement, fear to student body


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Westland junior Tunde Alawode poses with a sign at the BLM “Not My President” rally on Jan. 20 in front of the Fabiano Botanical Gardens.

While President Donald Trump was taking the oath of office, “Black Lives Matter” signs were being raised high as about 50 Central Michigan University students gathered to participate in a “Not Our President” rally at the Fabiano Botanical Gardens.

These are the people Temperance sophomore Sarah Jeffrey considers “crybabies.”

As Barack Obama ended his final term as Commander-in-Chief and President Trump was inaugurated, many students spent Friday in celebration — and in mourning.

“People think their opinion is the only right one. (Those kinds of people are) closed-minded in their opinions and in the realm of life,” said Jeffrey, who is the first vice president of CMU College Republicans. “I think our generation has become a bunch of crybabies and if you don’t get your way, you’ll cry about it until you do.”

Claiming Trump is not your president is “childish,” she said. Those who follow politics and “not just what the media says about politics” would see he’s retracted some of the comments he made on the campaign trail.

“Some of the things he said while campaigning were very radical. He wanted to get people’s attention to make them realize (we) don’t just need another politician who will play by the books," she said. "He wants to make our country strong again. Make us a force to be reckoned with again. (I feel as though) in the last eight years, more countries have been looking at America as a joke.”

Mount Pleasant sophomore Patrick Kemmerling recalls hearing “he’s not my president” from conservatives when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012. He said there were even conspiracy theories surrounding Obama's religion and birthplace after the election. It’s not fair to consider Friday's protesters “crybabies” for raising questions about President Trump.

“I don’t think we’re more sensitive than other generations. Some of the things our generation is doing is incredible,” he said. “Some of us are working three jobs to pay for school or taking care of other people in their lives. I don’t see that as being part of a cry baby generation.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump has shown “no desire” to be a president for minorities, Kemmerling said. While he said he doesn’t fit any demographic that might have a reason to be afraid of Trump’s presidency, Kemmerling is worried what the future holds for his friends of color, who are women or are in the LGBTQ+ community. The "Not Our President" protests doesn’t mean refusing to accept the election results. The protest was used to show solidarity to those afraid of what the future now holds, he said.

“If that’s how people can come together to feel safe, I think that’s great,” Kemmerling said. “It’s a right granted to us. Same as how theNov. 15 ‘Stop Hate’protest was branded as an anti-Trump protest when that’s not what it was and neither was (the ‘Not Our President’ protest).”

On election night, Kemmerling and his friends watched what had been expected to be an easy win for democratic candidate Hillary Clinton change when states suddenly began to turn overwhelmingly red. He said he felt the fears of his friends in minority groups become real.

On inauguration day, Kemmerling decided to read the transcriptions of Trump’s speech instead of watching live streams. He said this allowed him to look at it more objectively.

“(What will happen is) an unknown thing right now. If he really sticks to what he promised in his campaign, there will continue to be a lot of fear,” Kemmerling said. “If he softens on his stances when he gets into office, like some people say he will, then it’ll be fine.”

Trump wasn’t the candidate of choice of College Republicans President Mackenzie Flynn. In September 2015, the Clio junior traveled to Mackinac Island to meet and support her favored candidate, John Kasich, Republican nominee and the governor of Ohio.

On Friday, Flynn had plans to travel to Bay City to celebrate with the Bay County Republicans at an inauguration party. The plan fell through because she had to work, but Flynn said she was glad to see the campaign season come to an end.

“It’s exciting. We’ve been following the presidential election since June 2015," Flynn said. "It’s been a long process. A lot of us spent time supporting our nominees and campaigning. It’s nice to see it finally come to a conclusion.”

She said despite Trump saying things she “didn’t really support,” in the end, politics is choosing a nominee your views align with the most. When it came to the 2016 election, Trump's views aligned more with hers than Clinton's did.

The election had highlighted the political polarization between her friend group, something Flynn had never felt in the past. She said while she hadn't experienced personal insults, she was asked if she believes in human rights.

However, Flynn said she believes once Trump is president and post-election anxieties subside, things will quiet down.

“(In regards to protests), ultimately everyone has the right to express themselves how they choose," Flynn said. "But we have a system where a president is elected in a certain way, and we have to respect that system. Trump won fairly, and I think we need to have a united front at this point.”

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