Home Featured News GRCC students react a week after Trump inauguration

GRCC students react a week after Trump inauguration


By Jakhari Carroll, Kevin Matienzo & Kayla Tucker – Collegiate Staff

Now that Donald Trump is president, the nation has responded with a mix of protests, marches, riots, as well as celebrations.

A week after Trump’s inauguration, Grand Rapids Community College students are expressing concern about the future of the country and some are looking forward to seeing what happens next.

“I hope to see more greater equality for more people, and less persecution of minorities,” said Devin Priur, 20, of Kentwood.

Lucas Balamain said he is scared for the future, adding that he hopes to see “more jobs, higher wages, help for the homeless and (legalized) marijuana.”

Tommy Obleton said the country can move forward with a Trump administration.

“I feel like he can’t mess up the country anymore than the other 40 white presidents did,” said Obleton, 24, of Flint, adding, “I would like to see the price tag taken off education.”

Soon after Trump was sworn in, he wasted no time to put in place his executive orders.

McKenna Grifhorst, 17, of Zeeland was visiting GRCC on a college visit. She attends New Zealand High School.

“I was surprised to see action being taken right away,” Grifhorst said. “I hope to see more transparency in government.”

Students are getting involved in protests to voice their opinions on the Trump administration.

John MacDonald, 19, of Holland, attended a women’s march recently and plans to go to a Betsy DeVos rally in Holland this weekend.

“They don’t affect me as much as they do others,” MacDonald said. “I’m a white male.”

Zach Feyen said he disagrees with the protests.

“At this point, people protesting Trump being president won’t help,” said Feyen, 18, of Caledonia. “They need to put their efforts toward something that has an effect.”

Matt Hayes said he is content with the way that the country is going.

“I think there’s always room to grow and improve, so I don’t think it’s necessarily like a bad thing or like we can’t improve from any of the downfalls,” said Hayes, 20, of Grandville. “I have noticed that he is more presidential … He wants to fix Obamacare and change it to make it better for everyone.”

Leah Decoste said there won’t be much of a difference with the presidential transition, but disagrees with some of the president’s views.

“I guess I was really hurt when they wanted to defund Planned Parenthood,” said Decoste, 22, of Wyoming. “I think he has a lot of good ideas but I think the way he talks about women is a big turnoff to me, for him. (It’s) too early to see a difference right now.”

One student said the pressure should be on lower level positions to initiate change.  

“We have to take more of an active role,” said Wesley Watson, 25, of Grand Rapids. “If we need a change, it has to come from a lower level … Put the pressure on state reps.”

Watson said individuals have the power to take action and create change as well.

“(I) hope people will always be engaged, especially people of the younger generation,” Watson said. “Always vote. Always be engaged.”

Collegiate staff writers, Macy Tiedgen, Amy Nelson, Jazmin Huggins, Christopher Elderkin, and Austin Chastain contributed to this report.

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