Students gathered in opposition and support around campus during President Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday.
The Progressive Student Union organized a march protesting Donald Trump’s presidency. Protesters began to band together at noon on the Central Library mall. About five minutes past the hour, union president Mark Napieralski directed protesters to follow him around campus.
“The people, united, will never be defeated.” “Stand up, fight back.” “Donald Trump, let’s be clear, refugees are welcome here.” “Hands too small can’t build that wall.”
This is what protesters chanted around campus during the protest.
A petition calling for UTA to be a sanctuary campus was delivered to President Vistasp Karbhari’s office by Napieralski.
A sanctuary campus is a college or university that sets policies to protect students who are undocumented immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement while on campus.
The letter, signed with over a dozen signatures of union members and other supporters, is what drove Napieralski to march on campus and deliver his letter to Karbhari on Friday, he said.
“The best time to defend diversity is when it is threatened,” he said. “And by God, it is being threatened now.”
Mechanical engineering junior Adrianne Duncan joined the march today after learning about it through social media.
Duncan said she opposes Trump’s platforms on women’s health rights, climate change and same-sex marriage.
“It makes me fearful as to where we are going to be at the end of these four years,” she said.
Duncan said she hopes the marchers’ efforts will encourage others to speak out and write about their concerns to their city and state lawmakers.
Trump supporter Shepherd Dzvetero walked at a distance behind the march to watch for enjoyment, he said.
From the time he was walking, civil engineering freshman Dzvetero said the group of Trump supporters seemed bigger than the amount of protesters.
“Just because there’s a little protest at UTA doesn’t mean they’re going to kick him out of office,” he said. “It doesn’t work that way.”
Dzvetero said Trump will give power back to the people.