Inauguration day is fast approaching, and despite the best efforts of many activists to avoid a Trump presidency altogether, his inauguration seems certain at this point. Trump, in the course of his campaign, has managed to offend and/or insult members of nearly every group of people in the United States. The violence his comments have incited is already posing a threat to the safety of many. So on January 21st, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March on Washington is set to take place. According to the official website, “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” It will be a historic day; millions across the country have made plans to attend. The march will follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of nonviolence.
Many Emerson students plan on attending the march, and even more say they would like to attend if transportation was made available with Emerson’s help. Reilly Loynd, a sophomore Political Communications major, believes the school should step up. “Emerson, especially our president, made an attempt to reach out to the student body and address and acknowledge that students were feeling upset. But I feel like there hasn’t been a lot of follow up. It feels like they kind of dropped the ball. It would be a huge gesture on the college’s behalf to say, ‘We want to provide students with the means to do this.’”
Chala Tshitundu, a junior Writing, Literature and Publishing major and president of EBONI, Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests, is relying on the possibility of having transportation provided. “I want to attend the march because our fundamental rights, as women, as queer people, as people of color, are unsafe under a Trump presidency,” says Tshitundu.
With individual bus tickets going for $100+, college students in Boston are at a disadvantage, even though college students are exactly who should be going to the march, according to Loynd. “This is everyone’s future,” says Loynd, “but ours especially in the sense that we will be graduating into the Trump presidency. Students, in my eyes, are one of the biggest stakeholders in this presidency.” In addition to the individual, more personal impacts of the presidency, Loynd says that the shift in the workplace will greatly impact students on a professional level.
Matthias Kelley, a junior studying Interactive Media and a D.C. resident, says he plans on attending the march. “As cliché as it sounds,” says Kelley, “students are the future, and the nation [sic] being decided now will be ours to run very soon.” He wants to attend in order to show support for women, fellow queer people, and any other marginalized groups. “It’s kind of a good way for those of us already planning on going to build up confidence and a sense of belonging to a cause, which will help in the coming years of activism,” he says.
Some have wondered about exactly what kind of impact the march will have, as Christine Lavosky, senior Writing, Literature and Publishing major, explains. “A lot of people are saying that the march isn’t going to do anything because it’s too many different issues piled into one,” says Lavosky. “But I think it’s a good first step, because if women don’t do anything, then no one’s going to see their anger. I think the first step is to show that this isn’t right, obviously, and then through that comes more organization.” Her hopes in attending the march are to meet fellow protestors from all over the country, in order to gain a wider perspective on feminism of all kinds and make contacts for future mobilization.
Loynd has similar ideas in mind. “There’s such an opportunity for Emerson students to work closely with other students,” she says. Meeting like-minded activists with similar goals is, for her, an opportunity for growth. “It’s something I care a lot about, especially as a woman. I feel angry, is what it comes down to, and I feel the need to be involved in whatever way I can,” she says.
Marni Zipper, a sophomore Marketing Communications major, is unable to attend the march because she will be studying abroad for the semester. However, Zipper supports the march and wants to see as many Emerson students there as possible. Though the election results have left her feeling deflated, events like this march give her a sense of optimism.
“The first part of all of it was making sure Trump didn’t get elected,” says Zipper. “Well, that happened. And then it was trying to have the electoral college change their votes and vote in Hillary. And that didn’t happen, obviously. And now it’s, ‘We need to impeach Trump.’ I don’t even know if that’s a possibility. I think it’s going to be a tough four years if he’s in office [for all of them], but I also think it’ll bring [activists] a lot closer together. We’ll just have to work even harder.”
Emerson College is seen by many of its students as a “progressive bubble.” The most progressive action our little bubble can take now is to help students expand those ideas by providing transportation to the march. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page.
Art by: Taylor Roberts