Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana joins the March on Washington
Women’s March on Washington Flyer. Graphic courtesy of

While most students were relaxing over their winter breaks, Sophomore Carli Schwanebeck was researching furiously and contacting people from departments and organizations to try and get a Washington DC trip going from Augustana to march on President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration day.
After weeks of quick work, Schwanebeck is now preparing a group of at least 50 people to travel overnight and walk in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.
The Women’s March on Washington is a group of people, men and women combined, who are gathering on the day of Trump’s inauguration to peacefully protest the new government.
The goal of the March, according to the Women’s March on Washington website, is not to try and prevent the inauguration of the new president and cabinet, but rather to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
The March will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday near the Capitol Building. Before actually beginning to walk, there will be a rally with a host of speakers to remind the protesters why they are choosing to walk.
For Schwanebeck, the march is not about sending a message directly to Trump, but about giving a voice to the minorities Schwanebeck believes Trump hurt or ignored during the election process.
“I think it’s more about advocating for the rights of minorities that have been challenged during the election cycle,” Schwanebeck said, “It wasn’t just directly Trump.”
The Augustana group of marchers will be leaving mid-afternoon on Friday before spending the night on a bus. Schwanebeck’s plan includes the march, some sight-seeing, and a conversation with a college liaison from the Women’s March on Washington organization, but it does not accommodate for showers or confirmed meals. The group of roughly 50-56 people will sleep for two consecutive nights on a moving bus before arriving back on campus Sunday morning.
For Schwanebeck, this is not an issue because of what the event means to each marcher. Schwanebeck believes that the sacrifices of comfort the group will be making equate with the role they are playing in the lives as Americans.
When asked what effect she hopes the march will have, Schwanebeck said, “I hope that it will instill a passion in students, the youth, to get involved in their government, their democracy.”
In the planning of the trip, Schwanebeck contacted countless people to ask first if the trip was possible and second if they would partner with her in funding it. After donations from various departments and organizations like the Women and Gender Studies department and the Student Government Association, among others, Schwanebeck was finally able to finalize the trip last Friday.
The planning was not a simple task in any sense. “It was really hard,” Schwanebeck said with a laugh.
The SGA meeting she attended to request funding had a long debate to determine if the trip was one worth donating to. Ultimately, SGA gave $3,000 after deciding that the trip was one of meaning and that Schwanebeck had worked too hard to tell her no so close to the end.
SGA Senator McKee Jackson said at the meeting, “In terms of what this march actually means, I think it’s something that we, as a student government, should be okay with being associated with.”
Senator Alyssa Froehling brought up the fact that this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Augustana students because, “This isn’t a yearly thing.” The trip was guaranteed after receiving funding from SGA, and finalized with a vote of 22 for, 4 against, and 8 abstained.
Schwanebeck and the team of Augustana marchers will depart campus at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20.

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Augustana joins the March on Washington