LUBBOCK, Texas — During his inauguration Wednesday, President Joe Biden sent a powerful message of unity to the nation. Following weeks of unrest regarding the Capitol insurrection, it was an especially important message to some students at Texas Tech.
“With Biden’s office, I feel like the people’s voices are going to be heard a lot more than the last four years have made it seem,” said student Valerie Wilkins.
Tech students explained that Biden’s inaugural address is one step closer to peace – something quite unfamiliar in these times of unrest.
“Overall, I’m pretty hopeful. I really want it to be a peaceful transition of power, especially after seeing the insurrection happen on the 6th.
“Seeing that happen live was really distressing to me–like this is what we’ve become, so seeing it so far go peacefully is encouraging,” said student Jose Arroyo.
Associate Professor and Department Chair of Political Science Tim Nokken said that the representation in Biden’s cabinet could be a turning point for American democracy.
“I think to look at it and see the inclusion of some younger people, certainly to see more women I mean, that’s just something I think is long overdue in American politics.
“We’re seeing children of immigrants of mixed racial backgrounds. I mean, [and] in politics that’s kind of unique and interesting. But in terms of the landscape of America, those are an increasingly common kind of group of folks,” said Nokken.
Biden is already set to put forth almost 20 executive orders on his first day in office – a lot of those turning over policies President Trump put in place, targeting immigration and environmental reform.
Also, with Kamala Harris making history as the first female vice president, students said that there is a lot of hope for the future.
“Maybe reproductive health will get better, and LGBT rights will get better because there are so many that have been stripped away over the past four years,” said student Spencer Trevino.
Tech students said they hope the president’s message of unity would bring people together in these polarizing times.
“As a conservative, and as a person that lives in a conservative place, it makes me sad to see that even liberal or left-leaning friends don’t want to associate with me because of somebody that I voted for or a policy that we disagree on.
“We preach love each other and be unified, but let’s actually follow through with that,” said student Grace Reed.