The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

95° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA students and community react to the reality of a Trump presidency

Rebecca Noble
Amelia Rustaey shows off her collections of handmade protest signs before a protest against President-elect Donald Trump at Old Main on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.

Protests and rallies against Donald Trump have spurred up across the country, and students from the UA and members of the Tucson community alike have participated from a variety of pro and anti-Trump angles.

UA students and Tucson community members presented people with the opportunity to voice their thoughts regarding President-elect Trump at a number of protests and community gatherings this past week.

Numerous news organizations including CNN, the Associated Press and the Washington Post declared Trump the winner before Hillary Clinton and her campaign conceded with the election night results.

Arizona became a battleground state in the election and contributed 11 electoral votes to Trump’s 270 after he took the state by nearly 96,000 votes.

After election night, various centers at the UA hosted events where students and Tucson community members were able to express their feelings and opinions regarding Trump’s win. 

RELATED: UA students, Tucson community react to Donald Trump’s win with ‘Not My President’ protest

UA political science junior and Associated Students of the University of Arizona Pride Alliance co-director Jacob Winkelman said Trump’s win sparked an increase of students visiting the center on the fourth floor of Student Union Memorial Center.

“Our center on the rest of the week was open every day trying to support people,” Winkelman said. “As a sign of how scared a lot of people are, we were packed all day—certainly more than sometimes we normally get.”

Winkelman said that although Trump hasn’t said anything directly homophobic, the people the president-elect surrounds himself with—including his vice president and forming administration—have clearly demonstrated that under his administration, LGBTQ people’s rights will be at risk.

“I think the scariest thing is just how people on a day-to-day level are going to act with people who are visibly queer or they know to be queer,” Winkelman said.

Grace Kawamura, a first-year violin performance doctorate student, said it’s an easy way out to think protests accomplish nothing.

“Its great to be here and see all kinds of solidarity from all sorts of people, different communities and backgrounds—I really feel a great energy,” Kawamura said. “I have family members who voted for Trump, which makes me feel very ignored based on who I am as an Asian-American woman. My father voted for Trump and he was an immigrant himself, which really makes me very confused, betrayed and ashamed.”

RELATED: Letter from the editor: Tell us your thoughts on the 2016 election

Sierra Mejia, an environmental science sophomore and head desk assistant for LGBTQ affairs, said she hopes standing and holding a sign in objection will wake people up and make a change.

“We’re all fearful because Trump has started hate crimes,” Mejia said. “People that are of color, queer, minorities—we are all terrified.”

Mejia said she hopes her community and herself are heard as an outcome of the protests. 

She has taken a step to remove all friends and family who support Trump’s viewpoints to stand up in her beliefs and cause a shift in others’ viewpoints.

“I hope Trump fulfills all that he said he’s recently backtracking on from what he had originally said, or gets impeached,” said Fernanda Tavares, a pre-education junior.

Michael O’Connor, a pre-business freshman and Trump supporter, said he doesn’t think bad change will come in the first two years from Trump’s presidency. 

He said that by the end of his college education, there will be more jobs for him and his colleagues created by Trump. 

Tavares said she thinks the most important thing she can do in this situation is continue voicing her opinion despite disagreements around her.

“We are all one people, that includes African Americans, Mexicans and everyone else that could be impacted by that,” Katie Walker, a chemistry sophomore, said. “This is all of our responsibility.”

Follow Angela Martinez on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search