Inauguration Day at SEM

President Donald J. Trump Takes Office

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Inauguration Day at SEM

Students gathered in the chapel to watch Donald Trump take the presidential oath.

Students gathered in the chapel to watch Donald Trump take the presidential oath.

Erin Kelly

Students gathered in the chapel to watch Donald Trump take the presidential oath.

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly

Students gathered in the chapel to watch Donald Trump take the presidential oath.

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Since January 202009, Barack Obama has held the role of America’s leader as the 44th president, making historical changes in eight year term.  That all changed on January 20, 2017, when he handed over the massive responsibility of presidency to Donald J. Trump.

A tremendous amount of controversy emerged in this election.  It was the first election that a woman won the nomination for president, which caused an uproar both pro and con.  There was also speculation about Mr. Trump’s suitability, among even his own party. The election was a long process that kept everyone on their toes until the final moments when the president-elect was announced.  A range of mixed emotions was felt not only around the whole world, but our country, and at SEM.  On Election Day, feelings varied from terrified, anxious, uncertain to excited and happy. The atmosphere on Inauguration Day seemed raw and  these emotions more subdued.

As is tradition at SEM, the inauguration was shown live. This time it was in the chapel, at 11 a.m. Only a few people arrived at first but as time went on, more students and faculty trickled in.  As the inauguration commenced at noon, students and faculty filled the pews. All were very attentive.  The mood of the room at first was tense.  Some even began to cry.  The students were aware that this was a serious matter. Afterward, Mrs. Marlette said “I fully believe that an active, involved and informed citizen  is crucial for the continued success for our country.  I am very proud of the students and faculty for taking the opportunity to inform themselves and reflect to make good decisions moving forward.”

David J. Phillip
President Trump being sworn in with his wife Melania.

The mood of the room had begun to change when Mr. Trump started to make his formal address. Some students left and others laughed at some of his remarks. Mr. Trump’s supporters asked others to be quiet and respectful.  As his speech terminated, sarcastic clapping rose from the crowd. Students exited the chapel.  Many students left as he finished his speech not interested in any afterward celebration. A few stayed to watch the festivities.  “I hope no one gets hurt; there are no injuries; that the march is peaceful; everyone’s safe…on either side,” said one student.

Not only do I not support him, but I don’t support the things he represents.”

— Residential student

Mr. Trump has included immigration reform in his platform. Since SEM is made up of a large diverse group of people, many are anxious about his plans.  Some students believe he will not be capable of completely banish groups of people from the U.S. but believe it will become more difficult to cross the U.S. border.  It’s harder now [entering the US] than ever before,” said an international student.

Many do not know what to expect of our new president.  Some are in fear and others in joy.  America will continue on in the hope that President Trump will be beneficial and cause the U.S. to prosper.  Only time will tell how the new president adjusts to this massive responsibility he now carries. “Since he’s really unpredictable it’s…hard to say what he’s going to do.  Nobody knows…” said a residential student.

Mrs. Marlette hushed the crowd only twice. After the speech and swearing in were over she stood and complimented the students on their level of civility. “I’m proud of you,” she said and invited anyone who wanted to “process” to visit her office

If he’s a horrible president, then I’m sorry I voted for him.”

— Student Trump supporter