In light of the recent news that President Donald Trump has made East Carolina University’s campus a sure stop on his 2020 campaign rally route, it’s important to keep in mind the significance of events where powerful individuals are involved and recognize where you can make a difference.

Regardless of political affiliation, the matter-of-fact is the 45th President of the United States made our small, college city a destination on his reelection campaign trail, which is a major feat for all parties involved, whether you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, Independent or are undecided.

The President making a pit-stop at our university is something which will be remembered years from now, especially if he is reelected to office in 2020. Greenville, North Carolina is not on everyone’s maps, and even though ECU is a quality institution with an enrollment average of between 28,000 to 29,000 students year-to-year, many people outside state lines could hardly pinpoint where exactly the university is.

And as the president has scheduled a definite visit to ECU one week from today, there will be many eyes watching eastern North Carolina, who are wondering why he chose to travel to a lesser-known city on the very day former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify before Congress regarding the campaign investigation into Trump. A distraction, perhaps?

I wonder, how much attention will the university receive from across the state, and potentially from the country? And eastern North Carolina? Only time can tell.

Trump’s decision to hold an event directly on ECU’s campus is a bold move considering how the university is called home to thousands of students who feel uncomfortable by the sitting president’s policies or oppressed by actions of the man himself. Even though the university made it clear that the MAGA campaign is not being endorsed or sponsored by ECU, it still brings anger and disappointment to the doors of liberal students.

Thus being said, even if you have deemed yourself a Democratic member of ECU’s community or are a Republican who doesn’t support Trump, the opportunity to see the current President of the United States should supersede any predispositions you may hold. Now, I’m not saying you have to enter the rally and enjoy yourself, but maybe step back and take a moment to realize that attending this rally isn’t something you can go out and experience every day.

There are other ways to partake in the rally which don’t involve actually entering Minges Coliseum. Members of campus and city communities have already begun to band together to organize protests on the day of the rally, which are an option for those interested in participating in the rally without having to step inside.

The President of the United States coming to your college to speak, in person, standing behind a podium on a campus you call home is a rare event, and it is not something to pass up no matter your political partisanship. How many people can say they’ve seen the sitting president speak in person to begin with?

Community members should be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity sitting right under their noses and need to be planning how they can gain personal or educational experience by attending Trump’s upcoming campaign rally taking place on Pirate territory.

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