UVa-Wise Students Take On Inauguration In Style

McGeorge, Fields experience glamor, controversy of presidential inauguration ceremonies

Two UVa-Wise students had the honor of receiving invitations to the 2017 presidential inauguration.  Matthew Fields, a senior political science major, and junior communications major Mary McGeorge had the opportunity to witness history as President Trump was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Mary McGeorge and Matthew Fields, far right, at the Jan. 20 inauguration festivities with Fields’ parents Keith and Tammy Fields at left and brother Jonathan, center.
Mary McGeorge and Matthew Fields, far right, at the Jan. 20 inauguration festivities with Fields’ parents Keith and Tammy Fields at left and brother Jonathan, center.

While they both agreed that the experience was unforgettable, Fields explained that, “there were probably 36,000 law enforcement officers there, and it was difficult to get through each checkpoint of security.”  McGeorge talked about how protesters were standing in front of most checkpoints and wouldn’t let people by. “It was hectic,” McGeorge said. “People were yelling in our faces, but somehow we made it through.”

Both students were taken aback by the amount of violence that surrounded the capital during their stay, including their unexpected experience with protesters when they were heading to the inaugural ball. According to Fields, there were “probably at least one hundred” protesters surrounded individuals on the street. McGeorge recalled the moment when “someone threw a cup of Starbucks coffee at [them], and it got all over [their] gowns and pants.”

Once they were seated at the inauguration, Fields and McGeorge explained that they were actually quite close to the stage. “We were as close as you could get without being a senator,” Fields said.

Despite the struggles from protesters, they made it to the ball and got to watch the first dance between President Trump and Melania.  They both enjoyed the ball the most of all because they were close to the stage and got to watch not only the President and his wife dance, but also the Vice President and his wife, as well. McGeorge said

With regards to the many people who refused to attend the inauguration, Mcgeorge said that“it didn’t matter who won, either way it is history in the making.”  She also said that, “we live in a place where it’s great that people can protest, but whenever people’s personal property is being destroyed, I think it’s gone too far.”

Fields stated that if given the opportunity to go to the inauguration of another candidate, he would have most definitely gone because, “you can watch history, and that’s pretty cool.”  Fields and McGeorge most definitely had a “cool” experience, and the UVa-Wise community is lucky to have students who have witnessed this great historical event, regardless of political ideologies.

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