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Students At The U Feeling Anxious Yet Hopeful On Inauguration Day

Lee Hale
Freshman friends Nene Maruta and Sarah Czaja say they feel hopeful for the future despite the fact that neither of them supported Trump in the election.

As Donald Trump was sworn in as president Friday morning, students at the University of Utah were gathered around a TV in the student union building. Many of them watching an inauguration for the first time.

Kade Lansford, a junior from Layton, UT, has his lunch in front of him but his eyes are on Trump, who is signing his first official documents as President of the United States.


Lansford says it feels a little surreal. He didn’t support Trump in the election. But, he’s ready to accept him as the 45th President.


“We had our time to speak what we thought as a people and we have spoken," Lansford says.


NeneMaruta, a freshman, is feeling hopeful even though she was a Hillary supporter.


“I hope that his presidency goes so well that he surprises all of us. In a good way," Maruta says.


She says we all should give President Trump a chance.


“He hasn’t started his presidency yet so we can’t really judge him on his actions," says Maruta.


Maruta’s friend and fellow freshman, Sarah Czaja, also says she’s hoping for the best. But she’s also glad to see people protesting.


In particular, Czaja hopes that Saturday’s Women’s March will send Trump a message.


“To remind him that we are against hate," says Czaja. "And so yes he is our president but we are still here supporting love for everyone.”


A few tables over, senior John Michael Lewis says he’s still struggling with the idea of Trump leading the country.


“I don’t agree with Trump as a president, I don’t agree with Trump as a person," says Lewis. "But as an American citizen I want to stick with this. I want to see this work. I don’t want to see this fail.”


Lewis says he wants Trump to begin acting more presidential. Which, he suggests, could start with the new commander-in-chief easing up on his tweets.

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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