Trump-day preppers: Students gear up to protest inauguration
Colleges and Universities across America are holding events to prepare their students for President-elect Trump’s inauguration.
At the University of Chicago, for instance, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality is hosting an event Thursday called “re:action// a day of resistance and rebuilding.”
According to an online description, the event is “designed to reconnect and reinvigorate our community by sharing resources and opportunities for political and social action and by celebrating our strengths, our power, and our voices.”
The schedule of events includes an activism fair where students can “connect with local organizations and activist groups working on issues impacted by the national political climate and a Trump presidency,” an exchange of books “related to radical politics,” a film screening of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, and an evening party with a live DJ.
Evergreen State College, meanwhile, is putting on a “Creative Self Care” workshop Thursday evening to help students examine their “coping toolboxes” and understand how to “increase self-care,”which will be followed by a “creative self-care toolbox activity, and an open space to talk about coping strategies for feelings coming up in anticipation of inauguration.”
Midway through the event, Residential & Dining Services (RAD) staff will provide poster-making supplies “to get creative for the marches to the capitol on Friday and Saturday,” with “coffee, tea, and snacks” on hand for those in need of additional inspiration.
At the University of Connecticut, moreover, students plan to mark Inauguration Day “by embodying the kind of community we aspire to be–inclusive, indivisible, equitable, and democratic–” with a series of public reflections, poems, performances, and readings.
The event page advises participants to “keep it short” because they will be limited to five minutes, suggesting topics such as a short excerpt from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Langston Hughes poem Let America Be America Again.
“I understand that the protesters have the right to do this but people are starting to get tired of it,” Sean Chilson, president of the UConn College Republican chapter, told Campus Reform. “Every point of the way they speak out against Trump, and it’s tiring people out.”
Chilson expressed hope that his peers will eventually change their thinking and willingly engage in healthy political discourse with those who disagree with them, but said that the reactions of many liberal students to Trump’s election have indicated little progress on that front.
“People associated with the Republican Party are seen as not having redeemable qualities and this results in a campus where we can’t have actual political discussions because people will shut you down by calling you a racist or a sexist,” he asserted. “There are no discussions for healthy political discussions—it’s just one big echo chamber. It was bad before the election, but after the election it is really starting to take over.”
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