Students attend 58th Presidential Inauguration

A&E

A group of High Point University students recently traveled to Washington D. C. to attend the presidential inauguration.

Led by Dr. Brandon Lenoir, a political communications professor, the students witnessed the peaceful transfer of power when Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President.

“This event happens every four years and for many it is a once-in a-lifetime experience to witness one in person,” Lenoir said. “When you’re there in person, it heightens your awareness of the democratic process.”

The 12 students who attended represented a wide variety of political views, including Democrats and Republicans.

Both the presidents of College Republicans and College Democrats were in attendance.

“The inauguration brought upon a great sense of pride, as all of our hard work paid off,” said College Republicans President Sarah Moss. “Seeing the Capitol dressed in red, white and blue brought tears to my eyes.”

“Even though I was not pleased with the results, I have never had the opportunity to go [to an inauguration] and I definitely wanted the chance to witness history,” said College Democrats President Erik Daniels. “The inauguration is a hallmark of American democracy.”

The students made the five-hour trip to Washington D. C the day before the inauguration. Once there, they made their way to the Capitol to receive their tickets from Senator Richard Burr and Congressman Ted Budd. Students were then free to wander around Capitol Hill and visit the congressional offices of their senators and representatives. Some students visited the offices of 2020 presidential candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz.

In order to attend, each student had to submit a project for approval that they would use to heighten awareness of the experience and bring details back to HPU. Many chose to write articles on the inauguration and the recent election cycle from their perspective.

“After writing articles from attending the Republican National Convention, rallies and the election cycle as a whole, my project was to write articles to tie together the entire process,” Moss said.

“My project will be writing columns for multiple newspapers over the next week discussing my take on President Trump’s inauguration,” Daniels said.

Ultimately, the experience was a learning opportunity that showcased American democracy in action.

“Being there gave students a realistic perspective of a presidential inauguration,” Lenoir said. “It showed the symbolic transfer of power and it’s something that perhaps would be lost if simply watched on TV.”

Many of the attendees agreed.

“Watching the 45th President of the United States being sworn in gave me an intense sense of American pride,” Moss said. “It represented the most perfect form of democracy.”

In the future, Lenoir hopes to continue giving students experiences like this one. He previously took students to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

“I certainly hope to replicate this in the future,” Lenoir said. “Attending a presidential inauguration is a unique experience, especially attending one where for many, it was the first election in which they could vote.”

“I would absolutely attend another inauguration given the chance,” Daniels said.

Campus Chronicle
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