Ball State students protest on Inauguration Day
Over 100 people gathered outside on the south side of Bracken Library to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20.
The Broad Left Coalition, a collection of left-leaning organizations from the Ball State and the Muncie communities, hosted the rally.
The coalition called for students to walk out of classes at noon, the official start time of Trump’s inauguration, and share what they think life will be like for them and their communities under the new presidency.
As part of the walkout, the coalition also encouraged students to make an announcement explaining why they are leaving the class if they received prior permission from their professor.
Daniel Wills, a senior philosophy major and president of the Progressive Student Alliance, said walking out of class is a statement to students and faculty at Ball State.
He believes the act of walking out of class serves as a reminder that Trump is not the new normal.
“We will not allow the things [Trump is] doing to be normalized," he said. “We are willing to stand up and go out of our comfort zone and break with the norm [to prove that].”
The Ball State administration released a statement to the organizers and professors clarifying that those students who left class “may be held responsible for these actions under the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and individual faculty expectations.”
“There are thousands of students on this campus that don’t feel safe in their own country anymore and that is unacceptable to us so the first step is to have this visual display of support for people," he said.
Klinestiver also hopes participants who attended the protest will continue to unify, spread awareness and fight against future legislation.
“We don’t just kind of have to hunker down and hope that we will be okay in a Trump America," he said.
Emily Hart, a graduate student in the natural resources and environmental department, participated in the protest to show that she won’t be silent over the next four years.
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Some of her concerns about a Trump presidency includes the administration’s stance on climate change, access to health care for women and how the country will look in the international community.
“The United States is often looked towards as an example that other countries should follow,” Hart said. “If we sort of regress in terms of social policy and environmental policy, then the rest for the world will follow suit.”
Eliza Snyder, a Muncie resident who used to study at Ball State, joined the rally to be a part about the activism they believe will make a difference in the future.
“We are fighting an uphill battle,” Snyder said. “It just feels better if you’re fighting.”
Syder said in the past several years there has a been a lot of progress in LGBT rights, women’s rights and rights for people of color.
“I feel like everything is going to be taken away and everything is going to collapse and it's just scary,” Snyder said.
The anti-Trump supporters were mostly met with support, with a few Trump supporters listening in the crowd. After the rally both groups discussed ideas.
Dialogue between the two groups consisted of arguments about the Affordable Care Act, privilege, fascism, socialism and the number of genders. There was some common ground on topics like ending the war on drugs and the fact the coming together and discussing the issues was proactive.
Wes Guthrie, a senior computer science major and Trump supporter, said he attended the event as a “patriot” that supports the Constitution and everyone’s first amendment right to protest.
Guthrie isn’t a fan of the political system and isn’t a fan of the labels in the system.
“We are both two wings of the same bird," he said. “Honestly, I hate the political system.”
Guthrie said he believes the protests around the country wouldn’t be as large if it weren't for the mainstream media.
Looking toward the future, however, Guthrie said he hopes the next four years will "make America great again.”
Pat Macy, a freshman history major, said he supports Trump and is ready for some change.
"Whether you agree with him or not, it's history," Macy said. "Certainly something will change. Even as a Trump supporter I don't know what, but something will change."
Macy said he watched Trump's speech and saidt he was surprised Hillary Clinton attended the inauguration.
"It is actually kind of admirable of her, even after the mudslinging back and forth," Macy said.
While Macy supports the protesters rights, he said it is time to move on.
"I respect your opinion, but he's our president now," Macy said. "So there is not much that you can say about that that can really change anything."