Inauguration Viewing Deemed a Success

Students, faculty, and other members of the Choate community took the opportunity offered by the special schedule to watch the inauguration of President Donald Trump P’00 last Friday, January 20. The school broadcasted the inauguration at various designated locations — the Student Activities Center, the Lanphier Center Café, and Getz Auditorium — and offered discussions and other activities afterwards for those who wanted to participate.

Students had many thoughts to share about the day, especially regarding the experience of observing this nationally televised event surrounded by peers with a broad spectrum of political opinions.

“I think that it was important for us to be given time to watch the inauguration and process it, and for the school to provide support and safe places to discuss those topics, just so that everybody feels that their voice is being heard,” said Caroline Soper ’17, who chose to watch the event in the Lanphier Center. She added, “It was really interesting because there were a lot of different political views represented among the audience, but everybody came together to watch it, no matter what their opinion was. It’s still a significant event, and it was important for both sides of the political spectrum to see it.”

Donovan Lynch ’18 also watched the inauguration in the Lanphier Center. He said, “There were people who clapped at certain things, people who were not as enthusiastic about other things — it was nice getting a mix of people. I thought it was really essential that we had all sorts of different places where people could observe the inauguration. It created an environment that people who either loved the inauguration, hated it, or felt indifferent could still cooperate in.”

Other students chose to use the allotted time in different ways. Victoria Song ’18, who took part in the protest-poster making opportunity in the PMAC during the block, explained, “I thought that the activities offered were diverse and fitting for the occasion. I had a wide selection to choose from, and I didn’t feel pressured to go to the inauguration, because I could express my political views some other way. I thought that was nice.”

Julius Chiang-Boeckmann ’19 said, “I watched part of the inauguration, but I preferred to spend most of the time just discussing the event with my friends.”

Ollie Chessen ’19 said, “It was a good decision made to take part of the day off, just to make sure the day got some attention.”

He noted, “There seemed to be a bit of discontentment, and some people were still very upset. I also think that people weren’t given the opportunity to voice their own positive opinions about the day or be able to have a positive outlook rather than a negative one. There were so many people who kept being negative, and I think that people need to take a step back and just look at the positives for a second, though some may think that personally there may not be many.”

He concluded, “It’s important that people can relate to one another and understand why someone may be upset or why someone may be excited for what’s to come, and I think it’s for that reason that the plans for the day worked — it caused people to think about what they can do to have constructive conversations and hopefully push this community forward.”

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