An era will end Friday and a new one will begin when Republican Donald Trump is officially sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.
Across the country, college students are planning to make a statement against Trump and some of the policies he’s proposed.
Members of USF’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will be among the young adults participating in this statement on Friday.
“We’re trying to get students to come out of class and attend a rally or protest to show that, as Trump is inaugurated, we as SDS and we as students are going to begin a long process of fighting back and opposing all of the reactionary and oppressive measures that Trump will introduce and has claimed he will introduce during his presidency,” Sam Beulter, a member of SDS, said.
Due to the small number of classes held on Friday, SDS expects about 50 students to show up to the protest held outside of Cooper Hall at 1 p.m.
Since Trump’s election, SDS chapters across the country have led protests, spoken with universities about becoming sanctuary campuses to keep undocumented immigrants safe and the “Education for All” campaign that pushes for free tuition to public colleges and increased enrollment for minority students, according to the national website.
“What SDS stands for is standing for the rights of students who are immigrants, we fight against racism and all these things,” Beulter said. “Trump sort of represents this figure that is openly racist, openly sexist and we feel like to not oppose him is to not oppose someone who represents a threat to a lot of these communities.”
Members of SDS consider a large portion of Trump’s policies to be negative responses to socially progressive movements made over the past eight years. This includes motions to lower wages for workers and deport undocumented immigrants.
“Trump does represent a threat to immigrants,” Beulter said. “His policies toward immigrants are reactionary. His policies even toward workers are very harmful. If you look at his policy, he has what he hopes to accomplish in the first 100 days and there’s policies that were drafted that would ultimately end up making wages much lower.”
Beulter said this protest is the beginning of the organization’s movement to continue standing up for its values that don’t match up with Trump’s policies.
“We just feel like our goal as SDS is to continue to fight back against Trump’s agenda of hatred and oppression that we see coming for the next four years,” Beulter said.