On a campus that is politically active, election season had tensions high for students at St. Kate’s. Some were happy, while others did not receive the outcome they’d been hoping for. The change of politics from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration raises concerns for many students, and after an evening at the Pulse, I caught up with some Katies to see what their opinions were about the current policies.
Sophie Everetts, ’18, Communication studies major, considers herself to be a liberal and is not happy with the outcome of the election. Among her many concerns, she says that “environmental things are really important to me,” and that she has issues with the progression of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) despite the protests against construction. According to NPR, the Standing Rock Sioux asked “a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to block an easement allowing construction on the final leg of the $3.8 billion project.”
Sarah Larsen, ’17, Secondary Education major, also expresses deep concern about Trump’s environmental policy. “If we don’t make serious changes about the way we treat the Earth now, we may all wind up in real trouble down the road,” Larsen says, stating that climate change is her primary concern.
Both Everetts and Larsen brought up their skepticisms on Trump’s cabinet. “As a future teacher, [Trump’s] choice of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education makes me fearful for my own future as well as those of my students,” Larsen says, and she’s not the only one concerned. Jordy Orbeck, ’19, Nutrition Science major, says her and her mother both are skeptical about DeVos’ qualification.
Not everyone expressed total dissatisfaction with the administration, however. Katie Williams, ’19, Chemistry major, stated that she was neutral and that she was looking forward to the tax reforms Trump promised, “if they ever happen.” She mentioned hearing about Trump’s policy from her brother and thought lowering taxes for the lower and middle class would be beneficial. However, according to the Tax Policy Center, the promised tax reform seems to be having difficulty advancing. Taxes aside, the administration still isn’t perfect in Williams’ eyes. She states that she’s concerned about the refugee crisis and that “people don’t have places to live.”
Larsen expands on this, stating, “A Muslim ban is not only morally wrong on so many levels, it’s utterly unconstitutional. A wall is the last thing we need along our border with Mexico. Not only would it be expensive and an ineffective way of preventing potential crime, it’s racist in nature.” She continues to go on to mention Trump’s “racist remarks” and his endorsement from the KKK.
According to the American Immigration Council, building a wall on the United States border with Mexico is not only unnecessary but expensive. “Extensive physical barriers” are already on the border. The deportation of immigrants that was addressed in Trump’s policy leaves many families feeling insecure about what may happen to them.
On campus, President ReBecca Roloff has discussed that all students are welcome at St. Kate’s. In one of her Friday emails, she wrote, “We will all work diligently to continue to make St. Kate’s a place of inclusion, not exclusion.” While this inclusive mentality is being enforced in the attitudes of St. Kate’s students and faculty, there is still the concern of what’s going on outside of our gates.
With the rise of the Trump Administration, “alternative facts” have come to light and many students are concerned about unsupported evidence and the president’s lack of communication skills. Everetts mentions the alleged terrorist attack in Sweden that Trump discussed at his rally on Feb. 18. Larsen brought up the Bowling Green Massacre, then said, “The Trump Administration doesn’t care about the truth. They got into office through fear mongering and that’s how they intend to hold onto power.”
Trump’s communication also rose red flags for Everetts and Larsen. “We can’t go around hanging up on other prime ministers. When you’re president, if you offend the wrong person, it could sour relations with other countries for years,” Larsen says, referencing Trump hanging up on Australia’s Prime Minister half an hour early. Everetts echoes this idea, stating that Trump’s communication “can definitely cause some risks between us and other countries.”