In the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order calling for an immigration ban from several countries in the Middle East and Africa, intense responses have reverberated throughout the nation.
The Rowan University campus has seen no exception to the backlash. On Monday morning, the Rowan Democratic Club organized a protest on the back patio of the Chamberlain Student Center. While not massive in size, students came equipped with signs and chants to express their sentiments toward the executive order.
Several members from the club also went to their phones to call members of Congress to to try to enact change from Washington D.C.
“It’s a very un-American act,” said junior mechanical engineering major and president of the Democratic club Joe Miller. “It’s taking away freedoms for a false sense of security, since we already have the most in-depth vetting system in the world.”
Added freshman civil engineering major David Rey: “It’s messed up to ban people from seven countries just because of where they’re from.”
Miller also talked about his position on the vandalism which occurred on Sunday; a sign at the Hollybush Mansion and a section of the outside of the Esbjornson Gym were vandalized with anti-Trump writings “Punch Nazis” and “Not Trump” scrawled in black spray paint. The writing was cleaned later Sunday afternoon.
“That kind of behavior isn’t going to get anything done,” he said. “I completely agree with the pain and the disgust that they feel, but you need to find practical ways that you can go out and actually make a difference.”
One method of change Miller advocated for was calling members of Congress, as students were doing at the rally.
“Calling Congresspeople is one of the most effective ways you can affect change,” he said. “Vandalizing is only going to hurt the university and is not going to affect Trump in any way.”
Rey pointed out that vandalizing Rowan property “is not smart, since our tuition goes towards cleaning that up.“
Kazi Hafiza, a freshman political science major, explained that her reason for participating in the protest was that her parents are from Bangladesh and her family practices Islam. Since the implementation of the ban, Hafiza has grown worried that Bangladesh may be included on the list in the future.
“I just want to help get the word out, because I know many young people don’t pay enough attention to politics,” she said.
Although not organizing a protest, the Rowan Republicans echoed the views expressed in the Democratic Club protest.
“The president’s executive action undermines the fight against terrorism, and therefore is wrong,” said senior radio, television, and film major Christian Springer, who is also the Vice President of the Republican club. “Calling the order a Muslim ban is a mischaracterization, but we understand why it is being interpreted that way.”
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