The Last Chapter Pub hosted to a large group of SNHU students who came together to watch Donald Trump take the oath of office and be sworn in as the forty-fifth President of the United States on Friday, January 20. Students filed in and enjoyed the breakfast treats and beverages that were supplied. Josh Walker, a junior, was at the event because he wanted to see the “interesting viewpoints from other students in the pub.” Most of the students were left unsure about the tone of the speech and uncertain on what to expect from the Trump administration moving forward.
If the first week of Trump’s presidency is any example, the students who were watching may have seen a preview of how the next four years may unfold. It started with a debate over the crowd size of Trump’s inauguration versus those of Presidents past. The argument introduced the public to the new Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who per the Washington Post, “managed to make a series of false and misleading claims in service of a relatively minor issue.”
Once the White House claims were debunked, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway defended the information as “alternative facts.” Then, Donald Trump and Republican leaders, who once bashed President Obama’s use of executive action, unleashed a flurry of new signings. According to the official White House website, Trump withdrew the United States from the global trade deal, Trans Pacific
Partnership. Additionally, he cut funding to domestic and international health organizations who consult women on abortions. He also began dismantling key pieces of the Affordable Care Act. President Trump froze the hiring of new federal workers while excluding military departments.
Trump reinstated the building of two major pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access, both of which were halted due to activists
Lastly, he published legislation to Congress for the construction of his wall on the Mexican border, which would be funded by U.S. tax payers with the promise that Mexico would “pay it all back” in the future.
The Center for Community Engaged Learning student worker Emily Paquin said the signings that had her the most troubled were the defunding of health clinics and the continuation of both pipelines. “I was trying to be optimistic and respectful… but I don’t believe as privileged as we are, we should be taking away (rights) of people who may need them,” said Paquin.
In the days since the Inauguration, mass marches, protests, and rallies have been held in opposition to the President and his actions.