College of Idaho Students on Pending Trump Administration: Fearful, Uncertain...Even Hopeful 

click to enlarge RYAN JOHNSON
  • Ryan Johnson

Uncertainty. It was a recurring watchword as College of Idaho Students reflected on the pending administration of Donald J. Trump, who will become this nation's 45th president on Friday, Jan. 20.

“There's a lot of uncertainty, and that uncertainly translates into fear,” said Sead Muradbegovic, president of the C of I Young Democrats organization. “It translates into a lot of unexpectedness, and that creates a conflict with our security as Americans; this is going to affect all of us.”

Muradbegovic vividly recalls Election Night 2016 when his organization hosted an on-campus viewing party.

“The animosity in the room was shocking," he said. "It has been said, time and time again, that nobody expected Trump to win.”

Alex Thomas, a resident assistant at C of I, was working and couldn't attend the Election Night event, but soon heard how students felt about the results.

"I had several students come to me that had been watching [the election]," Thomas said. "All of the votes had come in, and they were just scared, just fearful."

Similar to what happened at campuses across the country, a protest erupted at the Caldwell campus.

“The night after Trump got elected, I saw a sticker of Trump with a red circle ... It was basically crossing him out,” said Muradbegovic. “Immediately, I was beginning to see dissent.”

C of I student Melanie Miller said the day following Trump's election was the most tense day she had experienced on campus.

“I would argue that a decent amount of this campus leans left, but the campus still sits in one of the most conservative areas of the nation,” she said.

click to enlarge The 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Although a cloud of fear and tension hung over C of I in the wake of the election, international student Irvin Brown, a Bahamas-native, wasn't surprised by the results—but he was offended.

“I felt personally that this election was a slight against me," Brown said. "It was a slight against a part of my identity. As a black person within the United States, as an international within the United States, I didn’t feel like somebody who’s welcome.”

Dallin Kroon, president of the C of I chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian organization, said he’s not sure if Trump will end up doing what he had promised to do, if elected.

“He does make rash decisions and says things without thinking about them and those are problems," said Kroon. "I'm not a fan, but I’m also not terrified.”

As Trump's inauguration loomed, Thomas found room for optimism.

“I would much rather be proven wrong by President Trump than have all of my fears confirmed. I never thought I’d say this, but I do wish the best for him," said Thomas. "I wish that he would take a more 'presidential' approach as he steps into one of the most sacred positions in our nation.”

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