Reformed colleges get political

Meagan DeGraaf-Staff Writer

Seasons of political tension are often synonymous with seasons of political protests, a case already proven by national events this year. People of all ages, races, genders and religions are protesting various causes, many of which are related to Donald Trump’s presidency.

While Dordt has not been the center of many protests, some students on our campus did hold a quiet protest in the spring of 2016 when then-presidential candidate Trump visited campus and spoke in the B.J. Haan. They wanted to call attention to his racist and sexist remarks and use these instances to protest his fitness to be president.

When Trump won the electoral college in November, protests erupted all over the country. Most of them were led by supporters of the Democratic Party, yet people from all backgrounds joined the “Not My President” protests.

Calvin College, a private Christian Reformed school in Grand Rapids, Mich., saw many of its students rise up in opposition to the president-elect after the election. Megan Plumert, a senior at Calvin, defended the position of herself and her fellow students by saying that she may not agree with everything said under the #NotMyPresident hashtag, but she still wanted to protest the hate.

Another Calvin College student, Lorin Birch, went to Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March at the end of January while on interim. She did not choose between Trump and Clinton, but attended both events because she thought the experience would be an interesting one.

“It’s been nice and respectful,” Birch said. “This is a bipartisan respect Women[’s] March.”

Calvin College is also in the news for its simultaneous support and criticism of Betsy DeVos as Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education. DeVos attended Calvin, but some alumni are unhappy that she is considering a position about which she has no political and experiential knowledge.

While the college itself has refrained from taking a political stance on the issue, many students and alumni are less than thrilled by the possibility, as DeVos only ever attended private schools. They feel she does not have the experience necessary to be in a position of power that affects such a large realm of people.

Students from Trinity Christian College, a reformed school in the Chicago area, also appeared at the inauguration and protests.

“We’re just here to be patriotic, spread a little love, a little laugh, take some pictures, have some fun,” said Tony Dykstra, who drove 12 hours overnight with his friends Gabriel Fennema and Dyvon Melling in order to make it to the inauguration.

“It’s really just the love of America.”

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