Friday morning’s cool breeze may have offered a chilly walk to class for many, but it did nothing to calm the fire in the voices of those who spoke during the protest dubbed “Not My President” Friday. 

The hour-and-a-half long protest took place at the “Bordering Crossing” statue located in front of MacKay Hall in the south courtyard. Hundreds of students gathered around the statue to vocalize their responses about President-elect Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday night.

“We are angry, frustrated and confused,” said Kaleb Vanfosson, sophomore in political science and president of the Young Democratic Socialists student organization. “[We’re] just looking to fight against the bigotry that is now taking over our government.”

Vanfosson went on to state that Trump’s victory left him feeling afraid and grieving.

“It’s time to rage against the machine and get organized,” Vanfosson said. “The main thing is organizing and making a movement out of this thing.”

Vanfosson is no stranger to controversy, having been escorted off of a stage at a Clinton rally in early November.

Trump Protest

Students and staff gathered around the immigration statue on Central Campus for a "Not my President" protest Nov. 11. Many students brought signs expressing their opinions on the new president elect. 

Apple Amos, sophomore studying chemistry, led the proceedings wielding a megaphone and an unbreakable conviction. Amos opened the event with guidelines for the protesters to follow as the protest proceeded.

“[Trump] will be in office for four years,” Amos stated in her opening dialogue. “That’s four years of action that we need to be taking.”

Itzel Zuniga was the next individual to speak. Zuniga began with a moment of silence for individuals who have lost their lives this year as a result of hate crimes and police brutality.

“We are here because white supremacy is real and we will not sugar coat it,” Zuniga said after the silence. “Now is not to tell marginalized people that we are being paranoid.” 

protest (3 of 15).jpg

Students speak at a protest against President-elect Donald Trump on campus Friday.

Students approached the statue wielding homemade signs displaying their disdain for the president-elect. Others arrived carrying the Mexican flag. One of them was Rachel Ramirez, senior in graphic design.

“[I came] to show that I don’t support someone who wants to send my undocumented family back to a country they worked so hard to leave,” Ramirez said. 

Martino Harmon, senior vice president for student affairs, also was in attendance.

“Iowa States supports freedom of expression, no matter what it is,” Harmon said. “It’s not our position to think about not supporting [the protest].”

Deafening chants of “Not my president!” and “F--k Donald Trump” rang periodically throughout the protest. Trump supporterss stood watch from a distance. Mitchel Fulk, sophomore in marketing, stood among the protesters while holding a Trump/Pence sign above his shoulders. 

Trump Protest

An Ames High School freshman speaks to a group of protesters around the immigration statue on central campus Nov. 11. Students and staff gathered together for a "Not my President" protest, where anyone was welcomed to come up and speak their frustrations. 

“I have no problem with the rally and I think it’s great for America,” Fulk said. “I love protests like this because it opens a dialogue in America about key issues.”

The protesters chanted “Si se puede” and “We reject the president-elect” as they marched from Mackay to Beardshear Hall on Friday to confront Iowa State President Steven Leath. Vanfosson led the charge.

Vanfosson said the goal was to deliver letters to Leath regarding his connection to Bruce Rastetter, president of the Board of Regents of Iowa. Vanfosson believed that Trump will eventually hire Rastetter at a staff member.

The protesters were met by Leath, who happened to be on the first floor with Thomas Hill, former vice president for student affairs, and Harmon.

What started as a trade of jabs among Vanfosson, Leath and Hill, ended in a peaceful dialogue among the students, Leath, Hill and Harmon.

“The country elected Donald Trump as President, and we can’t do a lot about democratic process,” Hill said to the group. “President [Leath] can say anything right now. That won’t change anything overnight.”

Hill went on to propose meetings with Leath, Harmon, himself and students concerned with current events. Leath and Harmon agreed.

LEATH STOCK

Protesters held a “Not My President” rally on central campus that led a march to Beardshear Hall. Protesters confronted President Leath during the rally on Nov. 11.

“There needs to be a follow-up to this,” Hill said. “The sooner the better.”

The dialogue continued for a just over an hour. Students were called upon individually to voice their concerns directly to Leath.

“I’m looking at how we can make progress,” Leath said. “I’m a results guy. I understand that this [protest] is important. I’m thinking about how we can get results for [students with concerns].”

The crowd dispersed after closing remarks from Harmon, who urged students to aid the university in creating initiates with regard to diversity.

“I’m trying to process ideas on how we can make things happen quicker,” Harmon said.

Campus police stood watch throughout the protests. No one was harmed during the protest.

The protesters met later in the evening to discuss a plan of action. Read that story here:

Students meet after "Not My President" protest to form coalition

Student met the evening of Friday, November 11, 2016 after a "Not My President" rally earlier in the afternoon. The group discussed what they can do to support underrepresented populations at Iowa State.

(2) comments

Randy Owens

[sad][sad] To the left of the girl holding the bullhorn, wearing the green, and blue flannel shirt is our son Ethan Owens. This is the first glimpse we have had of him in almost two years. We miss him very much, and everyday without him feels like a lifetime of heartache. We will love him until the stars burn out, and nothing will ever change that. If you see him tell him that his parents, and sister miss him and love him very much. Ethan if you are reading this, I said it before, and I'll say it again, I AM TRULY SORRY FOR EVERYTHING. You will always be in our hearts, and in our thoughts, no matter where you are,


I MIss You, I Love You
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