Students react to Bush

By Lynn Okura

President Bush’s inauguration yesterday afternoon caused a mixed reaction from those in attendance along with those watching on their televisions in Champaign.

Bush was met with a combination of supporters and protesters as he drove down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade. Some parts of the crowd cheered while others literally turned their backs as the president drove past.

Some students think this demonstrates the division that occurred when Bush was re-elected.

College Democrats member Neil Pandey said he believes the nation is very split on how it views Bush and that this has the potential to create problems.

Pandey said he hopes that Bush will follow what he said in his acceptance speech and be a “uniter and not a divider.”

“That will be his biggest and toughest task,” Pandey said.

Rebecca Vercillo, the vice president of the College Republicans, said she does not see the nation as divided in spite of the protesters.

“I think it’s a minority taking an adamant stance against Bush; I don’t think the nation is split half and half,” Vercillo said.

Vercillo said she thinks that some people who did not vote for Bush may not agree with every policy but support him in certain areas.

She also thinks that Bush will try and tackle what she considers to be tougher issues that haven’t been addressed, such as social security.

“His focus will be more back home in the U.S.,” Vercillo said.

Brian Link, junior in LAS, also thinks that Bush will focus more on domestic policies such as social security reform and tax cuts, both of which he is glad to see happen.

Link said he is optimistic about the next four years and thinks that Bush recognizes that there is a need for unification after a very divided election.

“I think he’ll work to unite us as a goal for his second term,” Link said.

President of College Democrats Erin Janulis did not watch the inauguration because it was “kind of depressing.” She does, however, plan to follow the administration throughout the next four years.

“Losing the election doesn’t mean you give up on what you believe in,” Janulis said. “We need to keep challenging the things we don’t agree with.”

While many students have opposing viewpoints on Bush, members of both sides agree that Bush will try to make a name for himself during his final term.

“Since it’s his last four years I think he’ll really try and make his mark,” Vercillo said.

Pandey said he is not sure what will happen in Bush’s final term, but believes that Bush will try and “set a legacy for himself to be remembered by.”