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Community responds to political environment a year after election

The controversial election of 2016 ended in Donald Trump’s election as president. Now a year has almost passed since that day. There are still many political decisions and social aspects to discuss in political science classes and among students.

“Over time, political norms develop and are generally accepted or entrenched,” assistant professor Harold Young said. “However, when the norms are challenged or disregarded, it is not illegal, though we may feel it is ill-advised and disruptive. What we are seeing currently is a challenge to, or disregard for, political norms.”

There are many perspectives on Trump’s decisions involving taxes, immigration and how he approaches news in tweets.

“His actions represent an extreme over reach of presidential power. I believe he is not an appropriate figure to represent America or the values that our country supposedly represents,” senior English major Arielle Raymos said.

Diverse groups are the most affected during Trumps presidency, and most original perspectives have not changed since the election.

“His derogatory comments towards women, left-leaning news anchors and support of anti-LGBTQ legislation do not represent an America that I want to live in. To put it succinctly, he is not fit for office,” Raymos said.

Trump was a candidate most did not expect when he ran his campaign. Now, a year has passed and he is making presidential decisions and tweeting his feelings on current events.

“During the election, the best way to describe it is that I was surprised, I could not believe the actions and behaviors he showed as a candidate for president,” professor of political science, political management and the department of criminal justice Chinyere Ogbonna-McGruder said. “My perspective was that he would behave more professionally since he did win. However, his tweets and actions have still surprised me coming from someone seen as a powerful figure.”

Political Science classes create an atmosphere that opens discussions on topics like a president’s decisions and how they affect everyday life.

Students can discuss these topics with their professors and peers. The election raised most of these discussions and now they are on matters created by Trump.

“I avoid talking about party politics and discuss how the Constitution, laws, and principles of your country are being used, tested, supported or challenged in current affairs. What does it all mean for the voters and the country as a whole?” Young said.

Ogbonna-McGruder said her students often bring up these topics and ask for her perspectives every time they see a tweet from Trump or hear of a new legislative decision.

She also said her discussions usually focus on constitutional basis and the criminal justice perspective, rather than the president himself, continuing to relate real-life events to the academic environment.

“I am an African American Studies minor, so most of my classes in that department end up discussing Trump and his decisions often. I enjoy discussing him in class, because my fellow students have become much more conscious of news and current events in the wake of Trump’s election,” Raymos said.

This shows how impactful a new president can be on society and especially one challenged the norms of what is an average president.

“We are in historic and mainly unchartered waters right now. It is nothing to really be happy about. It is ignored by a few, concerning for some or alarming for many. It is a test of the strength of our institutions, leaders and fabric of the people,” Young said.

About Ashley Thompson

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