GILLIAN REINHARD ’20
Donald Trump’s Inauguration and the following political action affected many within the Trinity community. Although students were mostly still away from campus on winter vacation, several students and faculty were directly involved in both the inauguration and the subsequent protests located on campus, in Hartford and around the world.
President Joanne Berger-Sweeney hosted a viewing party the night of the inauguration. About seventy students attended the event hosted in Vernon Social, and were provided with lunch and a big screen viewing of the historic event. Off campus, Trinity was also engaged in the inauguration. Director of the Public Policy and Law Program and Associate Professor of Legal and Policy Studies Adrienne Fulco was a featured speaker on Connecticut Public Radio. The call-in program “Where We Live” was focused on analyzing and discussing the inauguration. The program also featured Trinity alum J.R. Romano ’01, chair of the Connecticut Republican Party.
In addition to the inauguration, many members of the Trinity community participated in the ensuing protests, particularly the Women’s March on Washington. Although the largest protest was at the nation’s capital, similar protests occurred across the country and internationally in places such as Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, London, and Paris. A protest also occurred in Hartford, which over 10,000 people, including those associated with Trinity, attended. The Hartford Police reported a peaceful protest with no arrests made. The march, just down the street from Trinity, was attended by U.S. Representatives Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, and Elizabeth Esty.
With a bus provided by the school, a small group of about ten students left campus to participate in the massive march on Washington. Many of the students returned to Trinity early in order to take part in the Women’s March alongside an estimated 485,000 other people, including Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. Governor of Connecticut Daniel Malloy contributed his own thoughts on the march, saying, “By marching in Washington, D.C., and in sister marches across the nation, we are making it clear that we are resolved to continue fighting for fairness, equality and decency.”
The student trip to D.C. was organized in part by the Trinity College chapter of the Young Democrats of America. Fiona McElroy ’20 commented on her participation in the march. “The reason why I find marches powerful, especially ones this big, is because there’s a really strong sense of unity, support, and connection, but at the same time it enables you to interact with individuals.” The expression of interest and passion was conveyed by many of the students who attended, either with Trinity or individually. “Everyone is there to support a cause together,” continued McElroy, “but they still stand out from each other through their creativity like signs or t-shirts. Everyone contributes to the atmosphere.”
The weekend of the inauguration ushered in an important change in American politics. Trinity students, faculty, and alumni were directly involved in discussing and participating in the exciting and historic weekend.