Wary sighs of relief

SPU students share their feelings about the presidential inauguration

Emma Brown, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Micky Flores-Nieves

Following the storming of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, political tensions have been high all around. Now that the inauguration is on its way, some Seattle Pacific University students are finding relief that a transition of power is happening, but many remain cautious.

“It’s gonna be a sigh of relief when that happens, but it’s not going to be the answer to solve all of our problems,” first-year English and secondary education major Jackson Jamieson said. “I’m happy we’re moving on from these disastrous four years, but I also think it’s very important to remember that not everything is going to be fixed on January 20.” 

Donald Trump’s presidency highlighted many divides in our country, and with the events at the Capitol, tensions have spiked. This has left some students like first-year political science major Torie Bartholomew concerned that similar events may happen leading up to or on inauguration day.

“Personally, I recognize the need, you know, for a peaceful change of power. Whoever got elected, I say, ‘Okay, that’s our president, that’s what we’re going with,’” Bartholomew said. “But I am worried that other people might not, I don’t know if they might choose violence.”

The idea that there might be violence is not just unique to Bartholomew, other students are worried as well. 

“I’d be lying if I said that thought didn’t cross my mind,” Jamieson added. “And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think it was going to happen. But that’s also one of those things where you just gotta believe in the good of people and hope that that doesn’t happen.”

There is hope that with a new president coming into power positive change will begin to happen. 

“As a POC and Hispanic, I am excited, because there are just so many things that I feel like need to be improved,” physiology major Yaira Ponce explained. “My cousin’s DACA got removed, and I feel like since Biden believes in opportunities and if he is true to his word he will let DACA keep on going, and it’ll help not only Mexicans but all POC.”

Many students share the hope that this inauguration will bring change, especially amid the difficult political climate that the country has been in. 

The past year was a stressful one, and recent political unrest has only made stress and unease worse. Some students have had to take a step away from keeping up with the news for the sake of themselves and their school work.

“Being aware of (the news) has taken a complete backseat. I know I’d like to be more educated, it’s just how it is,” Bartholomew explained.

While some students are taking a step back from the news, others feel a responsibility to keep up with the news, despite the stress they may feel about what it contains. 

“There will be times when I get a news update and just don’t want to look at it, but I also know that it’s part of my duty as a citizen to stay informed,” Jamieson said. “I think I’ve grown accustomed to it after the last four years, just kind of making a doom scroll through Twitter to find out what happened just kind of becomes a part of your daily routine.”

While the politics of today can often be overwhelming, there is still hope that reconciliation might once again be possible. The inauguration might be one step in the process towards a more unified country, but it will not fix everything.

“These past four years have divided us so much as a country,” Jamieson added. “It’s going to be more than just a one-man job to get unity. And that’s what we need right now. So, is this inauguration a step in the right direction? Yes, very much so.”