A planned Loyola bus trip to Washington D.C. to protest the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the next U.S. president was recently canceled due to a shortage of funds, leaving the organizers with new plans on how to express disdain on Loyola’s campus for the controversial figure on the day he takes the oath of office.
One of the organizers of the original planned bus trip, Loyola junior Jack Kelley, said the trip was canceled because the group lost its reservation after it failed to raise enough money to make a deposit to the bus company in time.
The group had set a goal of $4,000 — the rate the bus company charged for a round trip from Chicago to D.C. — and created a project on the crowdsourcing fundraising website GoFundMe. The group also created a Facebook event to gauge student interest in the proposed trip.
On Jan. 12, the Facebook event posted an update informing students of the cancellation.
“We had reserved a bus and [we]were just finalizing the details and were about to make tickets available, when the bus company jacked up the price way above what we had originally agreed to and then said we had to put a deposit down that same day. Since we were not able to do that, we unfortunately lost our reservation,” the update read.
The post also said the group plans on refunding all the money donated to the GoFundMe project.
The idea to take a bus trip got a mixed response from some of the Loyola student organizations that Kelley originally talked to, like Students for Worker Justice and Students for Justice in Palestine, according to Kelley.
“Some people felt more it was a precedent to stay on campus and have a demonstration here and organizing a bus at all would just be taking away from that. So that was a part of the conversation,” said the 21-year-old social work major. “We understood that. We didn’t think that half of Loyola’s student body was going to go to D.C. or anything like that. We still wanted to make it an option for people.”
Kelley said the Facebook event showed that there was student interest in the trip outside of the established organizations he reached out to.
Currently, 254 people indicated they were interested in going and 69 indicated they were going to the now-canceled trip on the “Loyola Bus to DC” Facebook event’s page.
But Loyola students still plan on protesting on Inauguration Day. Loyola Students for Worker Justice (SWJ) is organizing a walkout with other student organizations at noon on Jan. 20 followed by a rally in the East Quad.
Kelley said he plans on joining the demonstration.
“We are going to be joining Students for Worker Justice and [other] student organizations involved with the walkouts on Inauguration Day. I’ll be speaking on behalf of [International Socialist Organization] ISO,” said Kelley.
SWJ organizer Brock Johnson, 20, said the demonstration’s aim is to display the number of Loyola students who will not stand for Trump’s controversial and polarizing rhetoric.
“We really want to give those in attendance a sense that we have collective interest in opposing divisive politics,” said the junior sociology major.
Kelley said he believes this protest is not trying to challenge the election results. Rather, he said he thinks it can help students feel more confident in their political ideas after an election in which it seemed those ideas lost.
“It emboldens students on the left who maybe feel scared,” Kelley said.