Ohio State students proclaimed “I, too, am American” at a “teach-in” event that was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday. It’s scheduled to last until 5 p.m.
The students had the choice of watching the inauguration ceremony on a big screen TV, going to a another room to “pause, reflect and share,” or grabbing a seat at one of the many teach-ins hosted by grad students, faculty and staff.
“The purpose of this event is to foster a safe space for the Ohio State campus community to connect with one another, support aspirations, and empower growth and change,” the organizers explained on the website.
At the teach-ins, students were able to “define social justice and identify at least two social justice issues” and “describe one point of inspiration, motivation or empowerment.” They could also just “meet at least two people or reconnect with at least one old friend…”
The Langston Hughes poem, “I, Too” is allegedly the inspiration for this event. In that same spirit, students were encouraged to attend poetry reading workshops or join a community mural art project on this inauguration day.
Ohio State is not alone in choosing to commemorate the transition of presidential power in such an unconventional manner. The University of Connecticut was hosting The People’s Inauguration Friday, to coincide with the inauguration ceremony.
Other student inauguration events are not so peaceful. Student socialists are walking out of classes Friday to protest the Trump presidency, suggesting the new administration will “unleash a storm of attacks” on unsuspecting Americans. Though dozens of colleges will be affected by the walkout, the number of students actually participating is unknown.