KENT -- As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Kent State University faculty, staff and students of many different ethnic backgrounds came together as one.
Students and faculty lined the entrance of the MAC Center for the Kent Inaugural Day Rally, many of which holding signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "We The People."
KSU history professor Liz Smith-Pryor was one of the people who spearheaded this event, bringing together faculty and a variety of different student organizations, into one place to discuss their support of democracy, liberty, freedom and justice in the United States in the face of Trump's presidency.
"We really needed to have something locally," Smith-Pryor said. "Not everybody can make it to Washington, so we needed to have something on this campus. The point of today is to make this an event where we are talking about democracy, because many people do feel like it is at risk."
Handouts of the Constitution of the United States were given to the crowd, which formed in front of the MAC Center around noon. Leaders of a variety of student-led organizations spoke after everyone joined in for a recital of the Preamble to the United States Constitution.
"On Oct. 1, our group experienced chants of 'Build that wall!' said Rachel Mason, president of the Spanish And Latino Student Association. "That's a direct rhetoric from the future president of our country. Since then, our organization feels even more inclined to fight for those in the Latino and Spanish community. It is our responsibility to fight for them."
Students for Justice in Palestine made their voices heard as well.
"Donald Trump wants to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem," said Yousof Mousa, president of the student organization. "That means us as a people don't exist. It means palestinians don't have a place in Palestine. Donald Trump makes it possible for our existence to not exist. Our president believes that. We're not going to be silent about this. We're burying silence today."
Lama Abu-Amara, Muslim Student Association president, echoed that statement.
"Donald J. Trump is getting sworn into office today," Abu-Amara said. "Considering that I am a member of the Muslim community and he has attacked Muslim throughout his campaign, there is no doubt that we will be standing together with our brothers and sisters from other marginalized groups in their battle for justice."
Jordan Roach represented the Native American Student Association at the rally.
"I have a lot of family members who have been in and out of (Standing Rock Indian Preservation) recently," Roach said. "When I was talking to people out there, the one thing they wanted me to do was remind people to not let anyone take our joy. We as human beings must refuse to allow anyone to take our joy."
Smith-Pryor said it's very important for people to come together as one, especially when the country is faced with an uphill battle.
"It's incredibly important," Smith-Pryor said. "One of the things we need to remember in the United States is that 'we are the people' and we need to have our voices heard."
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4155