Students attend Donald Trump’s inauguration

Staff Reports

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Thirty-eight Quinnipiac University students were among the estimated 900,000 people who attended Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

These students participated in a three-credit political science course in Washington D.C over the winter break. The students attended lectures, visited U.S Sen. Chris Murphy and John McCain and attended one of the inaugural balls.

Professor of Political Science Scott McLean led the two week seminar. This is the fifth time McLean has taken students to attend a presidential inauguration.

The two-week intensive course presented the students with readings, assignments, guest speakers and visits to the capital, according to McLean.

“I’ve never seen such an interest in this course, even in the 2009 Obama election, which was very popular with students,” McLean said.

Most of the students who took the course and attended the inauguration were not supporters of Trump and in fact voted for different parties, according to McLean.

Initially a lot of students did not want to attend the inauguration, but after hearing why it is important to witness the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next, all students enrolled in the course attended the inauguration of the 45th president, according to McLean.

“It’s always an exciting time when the city is getting ready for a new president,” McLean said. “But the level of uncertainty is something I’ve never seen before, even in 2001 when we had a contested election.”

Junior Murphy Seigel, one of the students         who attended the inauguration, said physically watching the transition of power was an experience in itself.

“Watching President Obama lift off from the Capitol and fly away while President Trump went into the Capitol for the luncheon was one of those experiences that reignited a dying passion for the glitz and glamour of government and how there are some things that will not change, regardless of policy or beliefs,” Seigel said.

This election was a close one, and the candidate who won the popular vote did not get the presidency. No one really knows what to expect from President Trump, according to McLean.

“If you look at the inaugural address [President Trump] gave it was different from the rhetoric that presidents usually give,” McLean said. “I think it was a radical speech that really challenged the legitimacy of Washington’s system, which is what Trump supporters wanted.”

Students witnessed the intense protesting that took place the day Trump was inaugurated. Seigel listened to what the protesters were saying while he watched the inauguration from the Newseum as a part of the New York Republican Party’s celebration along Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It’s seriously eye-opening to be on the ground witnessing the actual protests which, all too often, end up being defined by media outlets who are grabbing for ratings as opposed to the truth,” Seigel said.

Senior Billy Koch, who also attended the inauguration, said the disconnect between Trump supporters and Obama and Clinton supporters felt disrespectful.

“That day is supposed to be a celebration of America’s peaceful exchange of power, and in Trump’s speech, he talked a lot about restoring patriotism in people,” Koch said. “To see his supporters booing opponents after the election was really disappointing and shows they were not there to celebrate America… just Trump.”

Compared to past presidential inaugurations, Trump supporters were no more boisterous in booing the president and Democratic nominee.

“People applauded the First Lady [Michelle Obama] and there wasn’t a whole lot of booing President Obama, but there also wasn’t that much cheering for President Bush,” McLean said.

The crowd chose to save their cheering for President Trump, which is the way is should be, according to McLean.

Reporting by: Hannah Feakes, Victoria Simpri and Kelly Ryan.


Reporting by: Hannah Feakes, Victoria Simpri and Kelly Ryan.