#WalkOut4LockedOut: Campus community protests Trump’s new EO

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Erin Hausmann, Staff Writer

On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which directly impacts colleges and universities nationwide, including the University.

“The EO specifically affects citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen,” University President John Bravman said in an email delivered to students.

Trump’s order sparked outrage from students, faculty, and staff across campus in the days following and prompted Professor of English Michael Drexler to call for a #WalkOut4LockedOut at 1 p.m. on Jan. 28. The walkout was organized with the help of B.A.D. and other faculty members. A Google document was created for participating students to sign their name and class year as a sign of solidarity, and a Facebook page dedicated to the event was created as well.

Despite freezing temperatures and falling snow, students across campus stepped out of class to assemble on the Malesardi Quadrangle in front of Bertrand Library. A faculty presence was felt as well, with some cancelling class to allow themselves and students to demonstrate. An estimated 300 were in attendance, including members from the Lewisburg community.

In addition to empowering rallying cries and chants, the event featured personal stories from students and faculty highlighting the diverse roots of America and its immigrants’ experiences. The demonstration concluded with several professors offering their insights through a series of “teach-ins,” spontaneous classes, and continuing conversations pertaining to topics of immigration, mobility, Islam, and politics.

The following courses were taught: “Fascism 101” by Assistant Professor of History Mehmet Dosemeci; “What Is Islam?” by Assistant Professor of Religious Studies John Penniman; “History of Immigration and Exclusion” by Associate Professor of History John Enyeart, Associate Professor of Sociology Elizabeth Durden, and Assistant Professor of International Relations Emma Gaalaas Mullaney; “Christianity in the Age of Trump” by University Chaplain John Colatch; “Intersectional Feminisms and Activism,” by Assistant Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies Nikki Young, Associate Professor of Philosophy Sheila Lintott, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies Erica Delsandro; “Online Activism and Getting the Government to Hear You,” by Professor Michael Jacob Drexler, Professor of Computer Science Felipe Perrone, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political  Science Lindsay Nielson; “Politics of Border and Mobility” by Associate Professor of Geography Adrian Mulligan and Professor of International Relations Emek Ucarer; “The Immigrant Experience” by Assistant Professor of Art & Art History Eddy Lopez and Diversity & Inclusion Fellow Carmen Henne-Ochoa. Associate Professor of English Meenakshi Ponnuswami opened her 1 p.m. class on Ethnic Comedy to demonstrators as well.

Mulligan and Drexler expressed their optimism for the future regarding the student body and campus community’s ability to come together and organize in the face of perceived injustices.

“What does innovative and critical spatial thinking about society look like, and maybe trying to change it for the better? Today’s show of solidarity is just one example of what it can look like, and I’m really proud of our students and the greater Bucknell community for putting it all together so successfully, especially at such short notice,” Mulligan said.

Drexler echoed the sense of community.

“Protesting on the quad is a great site for raising awareness and creating community,” Drexler said, noting that many people were energized from this fall’s march on the Malesardi Quad.

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