With the acquittal of President Donald Trump bringing the impeachment to a close, student opinion is finding its way into conversations across campus.
Junior Grace Harkins followed the impeachment trial from the beginning, though not as close as she had wanted to. She was torn on her thoughts of the removal of Trump from office.
“Obviously what Trump did was wrong but the question of whether or not it was an impeachable offense is another question entirely,” Harkins said. “I can see the arguments from both sides, and I think in this case it was less of a question of should Trump be removed from office and more of a question of would it be possible, which it was not from the start.”
Freshman Samuel Province also did not have a clear yes or no on the matter because he felt he did not have enough information to make an informed decision.
“I don't know if Trump should've been removed from office because witnesses and additional evidence were blocked from coming forward in the Senate,” Province said. “I feel as though without that information coming forward for us to see there isn't a way for me to have an opinion on whether or not he was at fault.”
Freshman Salem Kessler had a firmer stance on the issue. They followed the impeachment process in order to make themselves aware of the situations and so they could educate others.
“I do think he should have been removed,” Kessler said. “Not only for conspiracy crimes but because of the words and actions he has been putting out since his election. As a queer person in America, my fundamental rights teeter on the edge of being lost every day Trump and his cabinet are still in office. Pence is a huge supporter of conversion therapy, something I have personally experienced. Trans rights are constantly being removed and we are steadily being put as second class citizens, not to mention the way immigrants are treated by Trump, both through policies and words.”
Junior Grant Hrabik agreed that Trump should be removed from office.
“I think Trump should have been removed from office because he allowed for foreign interference in an American political issue,” Hrabik said. “Granted smear campaigns exist regardless of foreign interference, it's the principle that people have the right to vote for who they want not by who the government deems a criminal or not.”
Another problem students had was the blocking of witnesses from being able to testify in the Senate.
“I think that blocking witnesses from testifying in the Senate was a great hindrance in the investigation and trial and also borders closely on obstruction of justice,” Harkins said. “When witnesses are not allowed to testify, you are missing a huge element of what a trial is supposed to be.”
Hrabik also touched on the blocking of witnesses.
“We're in February and who actually remembers that Trump was actually impeached?” Hrabik said. “I think blocking the witnesses was a move to ensure that Trump wouldn't have such a large stain on his resume come election time.”
While some students have been following the impeachment, many have not. One such student, freshman Drew Pennington, chooses to avoid political issues to avoid tough discussions.
“I followed [the impeachment] very lightly just to see what was going on and to see what the memes were all about,” Pennington said.