In response to the announcement that Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States, a group of Cal Poly students came together in a “Dump Trump” rally.
The rally began at 2 p.m. on Mott Lawn. Protestors gravitated toward the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) and marched around while chanting “Love Trumps Hate” and “No means no, yes means yes,” before they staged a sit-in on the second floor of the UU.
Comparative ethnic studies sophomore Tyler Suarez-Brown was shocked when she heard the presidential election results.
“It took me a while to assess what happened,” Suarez-Brown said. “I can’t be the only one feeling like this so I put a little thing out there on the SLO Solidarity page.”
Suarez-Brown posted on Facebook and asked for students interested in a potential sit-in to comment on her post with their emails to receive further details. The response she got from students was larger than she anticipated, with more than 150 students commenting.
“It was the first time in a long time that I felt proud of the student body,” Suarez-Brown said. “I want to make sure people who showed up today know that this is the first of many. We’re definitely not done; we’re going to keep working.”
Video by Allison Royal and Cara Benson
The “Dump Trump” protest was centered around pro-love, anti-hate and anti-Trump sentiment.
“For a lot of us, future is not certain and is making people anxious,” Suarez-Brown said. “People are anxious about not just politics, but they are anxious about human rights and that’s the difference with this election.”
While the protest was composed mostly of students who oppose the president-elect, Trump supporters, one of whom was civil engineering sophomore David Joiner, were still present at the rally to voice their opinions.
“Obviously people are very upset and people are divided in a sense, but I do feel people should try to move forward and cooperate with the situation,” Joiner said. “America has spoken. The decision is made. Donald Trump is gonna be our president and people need to work together to make it the country it is with what we have.”
Joiner went on to say why he supports Trump over Clinton.
“Hillary can’t get away with bullshit, Trump can’t get away with his. It’s just a matter of what you think is worse,” Joiner said. “I think the national security of the country might be more important than a few comments he made in 2005.”
Architecture junior Austine Delos Santos was in agreement with Joiner on the next steps for the nation, in terms of working together. However, as a “Dump Trump” rally protestor, she was not able to stand behind the next president-elect.
“We protest the election because we need to stand together and this is the biggest time to come together as one country,” Delos Santos said. “Seeing him in debates, I don’t trust him. I don’t feel safe.”
Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Jana Colombini thought the election results played a large role in bringing this many students together in such a short amount of time.
“I am proud of constituents for voicing concerns because it’s a great use of freedom of speech,” Colombini said. “They started around 8 a.m. and they were able to pull hundreds of students together.”
While Colombini appreciated that the protestors exercised their right to free speech, she wanted to make sure that all participants were being respectful.
According to Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey, campus security was increased on Tuesday because emotions can run high, especially during election season. However, increased law enforcement in no way means a restriction on freedom of speech.
“I want them to express their opinions, I want them to know that we welcome protests. It is part of our job to help facilitate that,” Humphrey said.
Due to the large number of people in the UU, protesters marched to Dexter Lawn and set up their rally in front of the Free Speech Wall.