More than 50 students attend Obama’s second inauguration through Whig-Clio trip
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At 3 a.m. Monday morning, 54 students boarded a bus to the nation’s capital to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
The trip was organized by the Whig branch of the Whig-Cliosophic Society in response to strong student interest in attending Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The Whigs also coordinated with the College Democrats, offering free round-trip bus tickets to Washington, D.C., to members of both organizations.
“The great part about this event is that in a period where Princeton kids are so busy...we can still find 54 people plus who really want to go be politically active and participate in one of the most important constitutional requirements in our country," Whig-Cliosophic Society president Matthew Saunders ’15 said.
After a 3.5-mile early-morning walk to the National Mall, students gathered with about one million other attendees to watch the inauguration ceremony. The festivities started off with musical performances by Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce and a televised broadcast of the procession of influential figures in attendance. The event culminated in the widely anticipated presidential oath delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, followed by Obama’s inaugural speech.
Some students had tickets for special access to the ceremony, which allowed them to stand closer to the Capitol to view the proceedings. Several students said they admired Obama’s speech and found the atmosphere of the day to be uplifting.
“I especially liked his speech. I thought it drew parallels to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” A.J. Sibley ’16 said.
“I really found myself to be touched,” said Brandon Holt ’15, one of the students who had ticketed access to the inauguration. “I remember looking to my best friend during President Obama’s speech and saying, 'I will never forget this moment.' ”
Holt is also a member of The Daily Princetonian’s Editorial Board.
College Democrats president Will Mantell ’14, who organized the trip, said it ran smoothly without any issues. The bus returned shortly after the ceremony and arrived back on campus in time for dinner.
“There was no issue there; there was no issue getting back,” Mantell said, adding that the students he was with “enjoyed hanging out and seeing the president speak.”
The College Democrats also hosted a viewing party of the inauguration in Whig Hall for those unable to attend the inauguration.Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated a quotation by Whig-Cliosophic Society president Matthew Saunders’15. The quote should have read: “The great part about this event is that in a period where Princeton kids are so busy...we can still find 54 people plus who really want to go be politically active and participate in one of the most important constitutional requirements in our country.” The 'Prince' regrets the error.