Campus views State of the Union speech


Kaylin Flatland

Students view the State of the Union speech in WIN-150 on Jan. 30. Following with a question-and-answer forum after speech.

President Donald Trump spoke to a joint session of the United States Congress on Jan. 30 to discuss major policy issues in his first State of the Union address.

The Department of Political Science and Global Studies hosted a campus viewing of the speech that same day in the Winn Center’s Community Room located in WIN-150.

“Students and the public should watch these speeches because it traditionally, in a way, is how presidents signal what they want for the agenda to be for the next year,” Political Science Professor Martin Morales said.

Kenisha Singh, a 22-year-old political science major, said she was intrigued about what was going to occur during the address.

“He’s known to not stick to what he’s supposed to say and just go off on whatever he feels,” Singh said. “It’s important for us to know about this because it is our future, this is what we vote for.”

Pamela Reynoso, a 45-year-old undeclared major expressed her thoughts before the address.

“I think it would be characteristic of him to be off-script,” Reynoso said.

Trump spoke to fellow Americans and Congress with an optimistic tone.

“Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium in this majestic chamber to speak on behalf of the American people and to address their concerns, their hopes and their dreams,” Trump said.

“Let’s begin tonight by recognizing that the State of our Union is strong because our people are strong,” Trump said.

Trump’s speech consisted of several guests who all shared victories over challenging obstacles.

Guests varied from a Long Island family whose children were killed by MS-13 gang members to a North Korean man who escaped as a child after being tortured by North Korean authorities.

A large portion of his speech was spent on his plans to remodel the immigration system, which involved proposals to build a wall across the border between Mexico and the end of family unification.

Trump also shared economic successes within the first year of presidency. He addressed the creation of new jobs while highlighting 200,000 manufacturing jobs.

“And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history,” said Trump as he spoke about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Trump called on both parties, Republicans and Democrats, for bipartisan cooperation to work on immigration and infrastructure.

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American dream,” said Trump.

Trump avoided addressing into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as the #MeToo campaign of women speaking out against sexual harassment.

Trump’s speech lasted one hour and 20 minutes, making it the third longest State of the Union address in the past 50 years, according to The New York Times.

Ryan Farruggia, an 18-year-old computer science major, said the address was repetitive.

“Some issues that were brought up were things that already existed and they were treated as some kind of new issue,” Farruggia said. “Trump brought in a lot of people that he can congratulate in the audience and I feel like more than half of the speech took up just congratulating those people.”

Political Science Professor Elizabeth Huffman and Morales opened the floor for further discussion after Trump’s address.

“They’ve had no accomplishments, the tax bill is not an accomplishment, they failed in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have divided the country, racism is on the rise, a whole bunch of things that are wrong, unfortunately,” Morales said.