It has been three weeks since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, but he has already made several controversial moves in appointing new cabinet members and instituting executive order. Here on campus, Elon’s political groups feel divided not only between different political parties, but also within their groups.
Sophomore Katie Mars is a member of Elon's College Republicans.
“I attended the Women’s March and I loved it but not everyone in the club did,” says Mars. “The part of College Republicans I love is that they’re like, okay, that’s what you believe, then you go out there and you march and you can come back here and you’re still a College Republican just because you don’t believe the exact same thing as I do.”
After the election, Mars says it is more difficult to be a united group.
“It’s definitely been a little bit harder to have that open conversation and to ensure that environment of respect,” says Mars.
In the future, Mars hopes College Republicans can reconnect with each other and the campus as a whole.
“I think it’s extra important now that we work harder and we work with a more open heart and open mind and open arms to show that, yes, this is a dirty election cycle that no one enjoyed...but we’re still all one nation. We’re still all Americans and we believe that and we hold that to be a beautiful truth.”
College Democrats member Rohith Murali would also like to see more unity between political groups.
“I’d like to say that we’ve become more unified in a common goal to address some of the issues that Donald Trump has posed.”
At Elon, Murali says he would like to see College Democrats help support their fellow students.
“We want to promote more voices to be heard,” Murali explains. “Definitely minority groups who might feel like they’re shutout, who don’t have a voice. Just promote a general environment that feels safe and comforting.”
Like Mars, Murali also hopes bridging the gap between other political groups may help.
“We need to be a lot more unified in our goals, because we do have common goals and common interests to better the world and better society in general.”
Senior Tyler Lavecchia also agrees that there has been more division in his political organization, Young Americans for Liberty.
“Young Americans for Liberty are more divided than they have been in the past because of Donald Trump,” states Lavecchia. “Because he’s just such an outrageous candidate. We’ve never seen anything like him. He’s a phenomenon, I would say, to any political organization. Just changing minds and opinions.”
However, Lavecchia doesn’t entirely see these differences as a bad thing.
“In my opinion, it’s very exciting because it just means more ideas are out there for anyone to agree on,” explains Lavecchia. “I think that the point of having an organization like this is to challenge your own ideas even within your own ideology.”
Although these political organizations have had differences in opinion, all groups have seen an increase in members and involvement, and hope to see more new faces at their meetings throughout the duration of the spring semester.