Chatham’s Inauguration Watch Party draws small crowd

Author: Alison Albitz

The tone in the Carriage House lounge was one of somber disinterest as a small group of students and faculty gathered to watch the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

The event was held by the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics (PCWP), who provided cookies and hot chocolate for event attendees. Though the group of people actually in the lounge for the event was small, many students and faculty drifted in and out of the common area, coming for the free snacks and hanging around for the inauguration.

Annie Guadagnino, the program coordinator for the PCWP, says that watch parties for presidential inaugurations are a fairly new tradition. “We had a similar inauguration watch party in 2012. Our archives show that a watch party was held in 2009, but we do not have any records for inauguration events in 2005, which would have been the first inauguration year after the PCWP was reconfigured and endowed in 2003.”

Teri Bradford, a junior journalism major, was one of the few that stayed for the entirety of the event. “I chose to attend because this isn’t the time to stop being politically involved. It’s very important to see what Donald Trump is doing and saying, and how what he does affects people across the nation.”

Bradford went on to talk about what the inauguration meant for her. “I think that for many people, it was very scary to watch. It’s surreal to see that Trump is our president and the systems that brought him to this position.”

As for the implications on America, Bradford said, “I think it’s jarring to see the lengths people will go to in order to protect their privileges, to protect themselves over others, and the overall lack of empathy and understanding that seems to be going on across the country from all parts of the spectrum.”

Guadagnino was ultimately satisfied with the outcome of the event, and wanted to remind the Chatham community of the goals of the PCWP. “The PCWP is a non-partisan center devoted to fostering women’s public leadership through education, empowerment, and action.”

Regardless of her feelings toward the inauguration itself, Bradford was ultimately satisfied with the event as well. “I like that Chatham keeps us informed and creates a space to be politically engaged.”

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