Quinnipiac University students were left speechless after the violent storming of the United States Capitol last Wednesday.
“At first, it was actually terrifying,” Mateo Barrantes, a first-year student said. “Seeing that a group of angry protesters could over take the congress so quickly just because a candidate lost was scary. Then I was a bit upset with the fact that these same people were the ones in outcry about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests months prior.”
The protesters that seized the Capitol building were Trump supporters that decided to take the rally into their own hands.
Amid the chaos, students said they were frightened for their own safety as they watched the news on their TV screens.
“It’s definitely scary wondering what can happen if [Capitol Police] can’t even protect one of the most important buildings in the U.S., what will happen to us?” Ephemia Nicolakis, a Quinnipiac first-year student said.
Not only were students alarmed by the lack of control the White House had over the riots, this event also enhanced the growing fear of white supremacy in America.
“Look at the BLM protests where dozens to hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested, but Trump’s supporters have faced little to no consequences,” Barrantes said. “As a Hispanic man in America, I sometimes wonder if I am still safe during times of turmoil.”
In addition, students were not pleased with the lack of safety precautions that could have been taken prior to last Wednesday.
However, some students, like first-year Brooke Aubry, believe there was nothing President Trump could do to stop the protesters once they had already begun rioting.
“Trump does have the right to [encourage his supporters] because of the first amendment freedom of speech and he was sticking up for what he believes in,” Aubry said. “He had mentioned to [protest] peacefully but once it turned sour, there was really nothing he could do.”
In terms of President Trump’s second impeachment trial, some students believe this is not what the country needs right now, as it is “excessive,” Aubry said. “His term is basically up and tax dollars are being wasted on [impeachment trials] when there are more pressing matters.”
While other students, like first-year Sydney Handler, justified a second impeachment for President Trump.
“His lack of control over the situation proves that he cares more about his supporters than supporting his country,” Handler said.
While the impeachment trial is still in process, President Trump only has five more days left in office before President-Elect Joe Biden takes over for the next four years.
For the safety and protection of our country, students are only hoping that the violence seen at the Capitol last week was the first and last of its kind.