It’s no secret that the majority of Northwestern students weren’t too thrilled about Donald Trump officially becoming the 45th president of the United States on January 20th. The response was in many cases one of activism: students took to the streets and made their voices heard.
The emotions that have been running high since the day President Trump was elected haven’t subsided, and, with Trump taking office, NU’s resident snowflakes didn’t back down from the fight.
On the eve of the inauguration, Northwestern students, alumni, faculty and others gathered in the lobby of the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts for Northwestern’s iteration of “The Ghostlight Project,” an event put on by theaters across the country.
In putting on the event, the theater community aimed to “[join] in solidarity through our shared commitment to greater inclusion, participation, and compassion in our theatres and our communities,” in the words of Jessica Thebus, Director of the MFA Directing Program in the School of Communications.
The event brought many community members together, shining their purple plastic flashlights and iPhones at a time they viewed as, “an important moment… to take a stand for the arts,” as alumnus Eric Simon (Speech ‘96) said.
The next day, after an unconventional inauguration speech by the newly sworn-in President Trump, students gathered at Norris University Center for an event planned by Student Action NU, “Wildcats Against Trump: Countering the Inauguration.”
Students discussed the ramifications of President Trump’s proposed policies on issues from healthcare to the environment before reading the names of three trustees on Northwestern’s board who were said to have donated thousands of dollars to the Trump campaign, asking students to hold these University leaders accountable.
As the event wound down, students made their way to the second floor of Norris to create posters for future events, which included the Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C. and Chicago the following day.
Although a handful of Northwestern students did make it to the nation’s capital to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, many more hopped on the L to downtown Chicago on the morning of Saturday, January 21st, to flood the streets of Chicago with pink hats and creative signs for the Women’s March on Chicago.
Northwestern students found strength in numbers, with other students and community members, including NU alumni and activists who marched 50 years ago but were back to make their voices heard.
In the first days of the new presidency, we have seen President Trump use executive action to attempt to make good on some of his most prominent campaign promises, including repealing Obamacare, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and advancing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, two controversial projects that faced heavy protest from environmental activists and indigenous groups.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is controversial due to the potential for a leak in the proposed pipeline to contaminate native peoples’ water, a threat which inspired #noDAPL rallies on campus.
Going forward, Northwestern students, including SESP Freshman Alex Macedo, are worried about their personal futures as well as the future of the nation as a whole under a Trump presidency, but are prepared to fight on.
“[We] will continue to fight against [Trump] and hopefully this will unite some of the divided people, of course assuming they are able to still live in the United States,” Macedo said.
Actions going forward include the “Trump Taxes March Chicago” on April 15th, which has the goal of demanding the release of President Trump’s tax returns on Tax Day 2017.