Students at the University of Utah walked out of class on Thursday and gathered at Library Plaza to protest then President-elect Donald Trump.
Despite frigid weather, protesters passionately chanted outside the Marriott Library. Together the group of students marched to Presidents Circle hoping to attract the attention of President David Pershing.
“Maybe we can’t change anything directly with one walk out, but we can bring more awareness to issues,” said Ceder Gonzalez, a student participating in the protest. “If we stand idly by nothing will get done. At least we are voicing to the University’s President that we don’t want Trump’s agenda on campus.”
The walk out event was organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a progressive student organization that engages in activism at schools across the country.
“Trump is a continuation of the inequality that has been going on, and it’s not going to end until we tear down oppressive institutions,” said Sean Taylor, a member of SDS.
The group created a Facebook event and distributed fliers around campus in an effort to encourage other students to take a stand against Trump.
SDS has held other anti-Trump events in the past, which include protesting at a Trump rally during the Republican presidential primaries and marching to the state capitol the weekend after the presidential election.
“I think it’s important for students to organize and stand up for their beliefs,” said Theresa Nielson, another student involved with SDS. “It’s important to realize that Trump’s presidency is a reflection of our society.”
Concerned with Trump’s stance on immigration, SDS started a petition calling on the U to become a sanctuary campus for undocumented students. They have collected over six hundred signatures from students and faculty and expect the number the grow.
Referring to the new administration, SDS member Abigail Stover said, “We can’t look to our leaders at this point.”