Student group visits presidential Inauguration

Austin Metz

One broken window, a snow storm and sleeping on the side of the road all couldn’t stop members of Grand Valley State University’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People student organization from seeing President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration event.

“The Monday before the Inauguration, his (the presidents) office called from D.C. saying we were able to get tickets,” said NAACP president Kayla Jones. “We were thinking we wouldn’t be able to go because it was the Inauguration so it all kind of happened last week.”

The members of the group climbed into two vehicles and made the eleven hour drive to Washington D.C. to see the president, the first lady, and his family.

“The majority of the people on the trip, it was their first time voting because they were too young four years ago,” Jones said. “Not only were they able to vote for the first black president in his second term, they were also able to see him sworn in.”

Along with being able to see the president, members of the organization were given an opportunity to see various historic sights.

“My highlights were seeing the federal monuments because they gave you a bigger respect for your country and being able to say that I voted for that guy,” said NAACP member LaKeith Chavers. “It renewed my pride to be an American.”

For Chavers, not only did it renew his pride to be an American, it also served as an example that he can accomplish anything.

“With what he (Obama) has went through, take this as he started low and he got up there,” Chavers said. “We are in college and we can get up there too. Nobody ever saw this happening twice.”

Jones said this trip is the kind of thing she will be telling others about for years to come.

“We are going to be telling our families about being able to go and see a presidential Inauguration,” Jones said. “Whether it is Obama or whoever, just the fact that you are able to go and experience something that so many people are not able to experience.”

[email protected]