The inauguration of Donald J. Trump as America’s 45th president caught the attention of Fresno State students, who gathered Friday in the Student Union to watch the event live on television.
And, as occurred during the campaign, opinions were mixed. The mood was quiet as Trump took the oath of office and gave his first speech as president.
Said Cesar Gonzalez, 19, while listening to President Trump speak: “They are empty words.”
But Jacob Davis, 18, said: “It’s great.”
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Before Trump spoke, students began to take seats near the television in the Student Union.
Richard Rangel, 19, did not vote for Trump and said he does not expect much from the new president. However, he accepts the change in leadership: “Whatever Washington throws in our face, we’re going to deal with it. We’ll be here at the end of the day.”
We need to support him and I hope he leads this country to greatness and fulfills his promise.
Anna Nelson, Fresno State student
Rachel Navarro, 21, an enology major, had little optimism for the new president, who she said lacks governing experience.
“You need to have three years of experience just to get a job here,” she said.
The inauguration had special significance to Paolo Decensi, 56, also an enology major. A native of Italy, he became a citizen Wednesday. Trump is now his president, he said.
Sarai Ruiz, 21, a pre-nursing major, grabbed a front-row seat to watch the inauguration. Wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, she said she was excited for “ a change that we have not seen in eight years.” Trump won her over by bringing jobs back to the United States, she said.
“He’s done more than what President (Barack) Obama has done in eight years,” she said.
Other students sitting at a table several feet away were more somber. Jeanette Cruz, 21, a pre-veterinary major, purposely positioned her back to the television.
“I don’t want to watch him. I don’t want to see him,” Cruz said. “I can’t stand him. He’s not my president.”
But some hoped for healing.
Anna Nelson was one of the first to get a seat front and center to watch the inauguration. Nelson, 24 and a history major, said she was “proud that it’s a peaceful transition of power. That’s one thing America prides itself on.”
She didn’t agree with some aspects of President Trump’s campaign message, she said.
“But we need to support him and I hope he leads this country to greatness and fulfills his promise,” she said.