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Students Attend 57th Presidential Inauguration

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Students Attend 57th Presidential Inauguration

Fourteen Greenville College students traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21. Greenville College Student Association President Maria Rodriguez shared her experience.

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Q: How many GC students attended the presidential inauguration?

A: Fourteen students, myself and two other seniors on the GCSA executive cabinet along with members of the freshman and sophomore senate and class councils. We also had one faculty sponsor on the trip with us, Julie Kerr, the Tenney/Kinney CRE.

 

Q: What was the atmosphere like in Washington D.C. that day?

A: There was a lot of energy and excitement that morning. Every time a member of Congress or Senate would come out, a huge roar of applause and cheering swept ove

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r the spectators. It didn't matter if you voted for that specific person or not, each person was proud of all the members of our federal government. People would also wait for hours along Constitution Avenue for the presidential motorcade to drive by so they could get a glance of the President as he drove to the Capital building, even if just for a second.

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Q: Where did you watch the inauguration?

A: Our group was able to get spots right next to the reflecting pool in front of the Capital building. There were so many people in this area with their eyes glued to the platform where the President would be. Walking to the reflecting pool was literally just squeezing through hundreds of other people.

Q: What was your favorite part of the inauguration ceremony?

A: My favorite part was the President's inaugural address. Listening to the address from in front of the Capital building made it feel like a promise more than just another political speech. While I don't agree with everything the President hopes to accomplish these next four years, I still felt proud of our nation and the desire to see some of those ideas become a reality.

Q: What happens at this event that people don't see on TV?

A: There's a lot of security! As soon as you get into D.C. you become lost in the crowd, there's so many checkpoints to navigate to get into the national mall. Each ticket has a gate line. Then you move to the gate, then the security and metal detectors, then you are finally able to enter the mall. However, with all the people they show on TV, what they don't show is the individual. I forgot my boots at home and my legs were freezing during the ceremony. A woman stopped and talked to me, and before she left, she had pulled out a pair of long socks and told me to put them on. When the President was coming down the road for the parade, a little girl asked me and another member of the group if she could squeeze between us--we were right next to the blockade by the road--so she could see. Her mom thanked us for letting her join us and we watched over her while we continued to wait. The TV's show this large crowd of people coming together to celebrate a nation but they don't show the way the nation stops amidst the chaos to help each other out.

Q: What do you think the students took away from this experience?

A: Flexibility. All of our plans were somehow changed throughout the day. Trevor, Josh and I had been talking about this trip for months but all that preparation didn't keep our plans from getting altered once we finally arrived in D.C. We all had to practice patience with the things that were completely unexpected and out of our control. I think there was a lot more each of us took away from this trip, but it varies from individual to individual.

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This story was published on February 06, 2013




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