Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana represents in Women’s March in D.C.

Augustana College Students Attends Women’s March on Washington. Photo by Alia McMurray

Out of the 600,000 people who protested and marched in Washington D.C on Saturday, 56 were from Augustana College and had ridden on a 15 hour bus ride to participate in the march.
These students and faculty had the opportunity to sign up for this three day trip through sophomore Carli Schwanebeck, the organizer. When she heard that other colleges, like Knox College, were taking a bus to the event, she started working because she knew that she had to go and bring as many Augustana students as she could with her.
People from all over the U.S. came to protest the day after President Donald Trump was sworn in.
This march started as a small FaceBook event for friends, but quickly grew into a national demonstration. It began as a women’s rights protest, but when it was time to march, people were fighting for many causes like Black Lives Matter, LBGTQ rights, environmental rights, and more. Schwanebeck was not only marching for Women’s rights, but she was specifically standing for the LGBT+ community and African American women.
“This is amazing. It’s so nice to see everyone getting out on the streets and making their voice heard. I miss feeling the spirit of being united with people,” first year Frida Dolk said when she first entered the rally area.
Before the rally, many Augustana students like Sophie Nevel and Rebecca Achilli signed up to support Planned Parenthood. Some joined in the chanting of “this is what democracy looks like” and others held their posters high for all see. When the students returned home, about 8-10 posters were donated to the Special Collections section of the Thomas Tredway Library. Some students kept their posters and plan to hang them on their walls.
Four other Augustana students, Thomas Hand, Kylee Villarreal, Anne McBarron, and Lisa Waitley decided to leave the rally and grab a bite to eat before the march. The last time the bus stopped for food was about 4 a.m. at a truck stop in Pennsylvania. It was almost impossible for the students to maneuver through the crowds of people. Once they got a block away to the food truck area, they stood and waited for pizza for nearly an hour.
Thomas Hand, a sophomore, took part in the march to D.C. “to show [my] support for all the issues this march represents.” He’d like to see changes in the government such as more funding for Planned Parenthood and equal rights for the LGBTQIA community.
Kylee Villarreal, senior and elementary education major, signed up for this trip because she “decided I would rather be a part of history than just talk about it.”
Not only did students make their voices heard, but two Augustana professors, Dr. Jamie Nordling and Dr. Deb Dakin, signed up for the trip before any of the students did. Dr. Nordling marched to support Planned Parenthood. She said that she’ll continue to support her causes by “contacting my representatives more frequently than I have done in the past to make sure that my voice is heard.”
Schwanebeck said that what matters most is the next day when people go home and the day after that.
“That’s where the real work starts. You can push back on government policies and things you hear in conversation,” Schwanebeck said. She hopes people will change and make change when they go back home.

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Augustana represents in Women’s March in D.C.