UNC students protest Trump's inauguration
Posted January 20
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Students on college campuses across the country held protests Friday timed to President Donald Trump's inauguration, saying they worry about their future under his administration.
Scores of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill walked out of class while the inauguration took place in Washington, D.C. They gathered on the steps of the South Building and shared stories about how a Trump administration could affect those who attend the university.
"I’m out here protesting, honestly, the worst president I have heard of in history books," said sophomore Sam Christensen, who identifies as bisexual. "He is demeaning so many communities that are already struggling."
"It’s his ideas, his way of representing our country that he speaks to an idea of a certain type of people he wants to represent," said senior Felicity Welch, who is black. "I know, when he talks about making America great again, in no form of America have my people, my communities, ever felt great. What he stands for is not for people and not for my struggle."
Junior Rubi Franco Quiroz said she fears for undocumented immigrants like her family with Trump as president.
"I always question politicians when they ask me, 'Well, why did your parents come here illegally?' and I always say, 'Well, what would you be willing to do for your children? How much of a risk would you be willing to take for them?'" Quiroz said. "That’s the reason my parents came here illegally. If they would’ve been able to have done it legally, of course, they would have, and they tried multiple times."
Protesters urged school administrators to make UNC-Chapel Hill a sanctuary campus that both supports and is a safe place for students, regardless of their immigration status.
"The University of North Carolina is committed to being a welcoming and supportive environment," UNC President Margaret Spellings said in a statement. "While we cannot control federal policies, I will continue advocating greater opportunity for our students based on my deep conviction that a better-educated state benefits all of us."
Spellings said she would gladly meet with concerned students if asked.
UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt previously signed a statement of support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allowing young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country. Folt also has said that school administrators are committed to having an inclusive and welcoming campus.