As a second semester senior, I’ve certainly been reflecting back on all the memories Sacred Heart holds for me, among many others. One of the biggest memories that stands out in my head-- and in light of the recent inauguration-- definitely has to be President Donald Trump’s visit to SHU campus when he was titled the GOP candidate at the time. I was not able to attend the rally myself due to work purposes, but I had every intention to go and support. As a Trump supporter, this would have been an absolute honor. However, my absence from the rally did not leave me out of the drama that came with his visit. Among the hyped up Trump supporters with their Trump signs and Make America Great Again hats, there were many unhappy liberal students… unhappy that their campus was being used as a platform for President Donald Trump to speak.
Tension between college republicans and democrats
This had to be what upset me the most. It wasn’t really until this year that I began to see the division across the student body, and it started long before Trump stepped foot onto campus. His presence only caused more of an uproar, but contrary to what democrats might think, that’s not his fault. We simply just can’t handle controversial speakers at our university appropriately. Before, the day of, and after his speech at SHU, I had seen things in Facebook groups that I wish I didn’t see… things that those Facebook groups should not be used for (i.e. not being used for it’s sole purpose [a school club], but being used as a place for ridiculing Trump, along with his supporters, and planning protests right on SHU grounds). At that point, I took it upon myself to leave those groups without a word and discontinue my appearances at the meetings. I felt unsafe, ridiculed, and bullied about my affiliation by the ‘tolerant and welcoming’ left, all because of one person I happened to support.
Authoritative figures getting involved
This one still grinds my gears to this day. I remember voicing my views through an article I had written a while ago about Donald Trump’s visit to SHU. My good friend had shared it on her Facebook page to support and we were belittled on Facebook by a Sacred Heart professor who felt the need to call us stupid and delusional for supporting Donald Trump. I ignored the comment and blocked this professor. The gender and name of this professor will remain anonymous, however I do think it needs to be put out there that even students will get backlash by their own professors. It makes me nauseous to know that people in an authoritative position within the school will have no problem talking down to their students.
What I’ve learned looking back
Even though the event occurred some months ago, it still has a lesson to teach all of us, as students and young adults learning how the world works. When it comes down to it, one specific person is not going to change how everybody thinks and acts. People are going to be rude, and they will say things to demean others, but that is not going to get anything done. We are not all going to agree on the same thing, and that's okay. My version of a great America can be totally different from my peer's version of a great America, but we may have totally unique ideals and values. The best thing to do is to learn from this event and use what we've learned to combat the real-life issues America faces-- no matter what you believe.