President Biden and Vice President Harris officially sworn into office

New administration signals departure from Trump era politics

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Lawrence Jackson

President Biden and Vice President Harris hope to bring lasting change in America. Working together, they aim to restore unity and continue to move the nation forward. (Image obtained via Flickr under a Creative Commons license)

Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. In his sincere and motivational speech, he pledged to restore alliances, repair the country and proudly represent all Americans.

Just moments before, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president in American history. Not only that, she is the first African American and Indian to hold her position.

The ceremony marked several changes compared to those of the past, due to a variety of reasons. There were 20,000 national guard troops patrolling the streets of the nation’s capital, in response to the violent Capitol insurrection which took place two weeks ago.

“I was extremely nervous about the possibility of violence [again],” junior Paul Kim said. “However, I also heard that the FBI prepared a dossier on the threats and thus were taking the events seriously.”

Additionally, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, spectators were not allowed, but instead replaced with nearly 200,000 American flags, representing the countless number of people unable to travel to Washington DC.

“I thought the ceremony was very well done,” junior Leah Siegel said. “I was happy to see that necessary safety measures were put in place.”

Perhaps the highlight of the ceremony was President Biden’s inaugural speech, which aimed to bring hope and usher in a new era of American politics.

“Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this — bringing American people together, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause,” Biden said.

During his speech, President Biden sounded determined to make change and restore America’s former glory.

“The speech was as eloquent as one would expect from a president, and it helped bring hope and excitement to millions of Americans,” junior Ben Kelly said.

The speech left a lasting impression on many listeners, but some felt he was a little vague.

“I thought the speech was fine and had good sentiments, but I want to see how he acts on his various promises made in the speech,” Kim said.

President Biden takes the reigns after Former President Trump’s problematic final year in office, characterized by civil rights movements, a nationwide pandemic, and political insurrection.

“It is exciting knowing that the Trump era is finally behind us,” Kelly said. “But it is important to remember our country needs fundamental change and that the work towards a more perfect union is still ongoing.”

While many were impressed with Biden’s demonstration of initiative and his eagerness to restore America, some did not share the same sentiments.

“I don’t see this inauguration as very monumental because the issues the United States has been facing are still extremely prevalent,” junior Leah Siegel said. “This inauguration means that the ability to change is there though, and it has opened up a window of opportunity.”

Biden’s placement in office is a hopeful one, and students are very clear on what they believe should be prioritized.

“I hope that Americans get some form of comprehensive healthcare, COVID-19 relief, and recovery from the events that occurred recently,” Kim said.

Besides relief from recent events, citizens want other long-lasting issues to be addressed as well.

“My hopes for the next few years include comprehensive and immediate climate action, D.C. statehood, and a statehood option for Puerto Rico,” Siegel said. “I’d like to see expanded affordable health care and more investments into social programs.”

Regardless of political views, Biden’s inauguration brings hope for the future and identifies potential for countless opportunities.

“America has been tested, and we’ve come out stronger for it,” Biden said. “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.”