Central Illinois College Students Protest Trump's Election
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WRSP) —
For the third night in a row, anti-Donald Trump protests have broken out in dozens of cities across the United States. These massive demonstrations coming in the wake of the presidential election, and the theme has been young people carrying signs and chanting, "not my president."
College students in Central Illinois have joined the nationwide protests. Students at Illinois College in Jacksonville were calling for unity during a peaceful demonstration Friday.
Students and faculty gathered on campus to express their different opinions, and some students said that love is the most important thing.
Illinois College Sophomore and protest organizer Cassie Mueller says she just wants life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for America. Mueller organized the protest for students who are unhappy about Donald Trump's election. "We're not going to go with the status quo, we're not going to silence our voices because this man was elected," said Mueller.
Vice President of Enrollment & Marketing Stephanie Elpers Chipman said, "Some of our students feel marginalized by the rhetoric of Trump's campaign."
Anti-Trump protesters held signs that read "not my president," behavior that some Trump supporters say is "un-American." "I am out here to advocate for President Trump," said Illinois College student Noah Yantis. "I think he can do some good things for America. We are one country, and the people who are saying 'not our president,' well, I think they're wrong in that."
Illinois College is a liberal arts school with about 1,000 students. Administrators say inclusion is an educational priority. "The college is very excited about the fact that students are expressing their concerns and their ideas in a peaceful way," said Elpers Chipman.
Student Body President Quinton Wadkins said, "We know everyone - everybody knows everyone - and we don't want to hurt the relationships we have over politics."
Students were calling for unity on their campus, and hope for a peaceful transition of power from President Barack Obama to President-Elect Donald Trump. "President Obama's been meeting with President Trump and that peaceful transition shows that the administration is strong enough to move on to the next president," said Yantis. "All Americans should be that peaceful."
"I honestly think as angry as people were leading up to this, as angry as people were this morning, I think right now, what I feel is a true desire for unity," commented Mueller.
One thing organizers got some initial push back on was that they held the protest on Veterans Day. Students, however, said veterans fought for many of their rights -- including freedom of speech and the right to protest.