Cardinals flock to inauguration

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SVSU was represented at the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday, Jan. 20, as over 100 Cardinals joined Student Association to attend the event.

SA announced shortly after the election in November that it would lead a trip to the inauguration ceremony and students will travel on charter buses provided by SA for $15 per person. Tickets sold out the day they went on sale.

“There were a series of stops for the students along the way to grab food and stretch their legs,” SA President Cody McKay said. “While in DC, the area was congested but was navigated successfully and without any issues.”

Students had time to explore Washington before the ceremonies started. A few students visited the collection of Smithsonian museums, while others visited the National Archives, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Holocaust Museum.

Prior to the inauguration, visiting students attended the Inauguration Day Parade.

“The parade was lined with people on both sides,” McKay said. “The parade kicked off with representation from different branches of the military including the Army, Navy, Air force and the Marines. Following not too far behind them were the president and vice president. The buses had to leave shortly after they passed by, so I was not able to see the rest of the parade. When walking back, we did see marching bands waiting to walk through.”

Next came the official inauguration of the 45th president of the United States of America. Following a long wait in line, students witnessed the swearing in of the 45th president of the United States of America Donald Trump on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

“Being a part of any inauguration in person is a unique experience as you are witnessing one of the longest standing traditions in American politics unfold directly in front of you,” McKay said. “The crowd surrounding us had lots of energy and overall, it was a surreal experience.”

Sophomore nursing student Kate Waskevich was also excited about what she witnessed.

“Attending the inauguration was an unforgettable experience,” she said. “Driving for 20-plus hours, waiting in line for over five hours and witnessing violent protests was all worth it to experience the 45th president inaugurated. I’m truly thankful that Student Association and SVSU allowed me this opportunity.”

The protests took place as students entered the National Mall, followed by the larger protests after the official inauguration.

Students then began the venture back to University Center and arrived back home safely around 7 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. After doing much facilitating over the two days prior, McKay was able to debrief on the ride home.

“This trip was full of moving parts, and I am so grateful to have had an amazing and hardworking team that made this possible for our students and allowed it to be a smooth and memorable experience for the entire group,” McKay said.

According to McKay, witnessing an historic event while representing SVSU was a fantastic experience for all who attended.

“From talking with students that were on the trip, they were glad that they decided to go,” he said. “All of them had fun whether they went to just the inauguration and the parade or did some sight-seeing. As the trip was coming to a close, members said that they had a great time and were thankful that they were able to go.”

Second-year early childhood education student Cydney Bentley said the event was influential.

“After having the opportunity to attend this event, I didn’t realize how much it would impact me,” she said. “Witnessing Donald Trump’s inauguration into office gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. It was an incredible experience, and I will remember it for a lifetime.”