By Allison Donofrio, Contributing Writer
Since becoming the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has been making headlines. I created a survey to discuss how McKendree University students feel about President Donald Trump on a scale from very negative to very positive. The survey asked a series of questions regarding President Trump’s policies from his first few weeks in office, including his executive orders on the Dakota Access and Keystone Oil Pipelines, rolling provisions on the Affordable Care Act, ordering organizations that provide abortion services motionless, building the wall and his travel restrictions. Lastly, it asks for any additional comments about President Trump.
22 students from various areas of study were randomly selected to discuss their opinions on the President. The median age of those that participated in the survey was 23.4 and ranged from sophomores to seniors. Overall, 65% felt very negative or negative and 30% felt positive or very positive. Of those who were negative, 34% felt very negatively. 50% felt very negative towards his executive orders on the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Oil Pipeline, while the remaining 36% was spread across neutral, positive and very positive. 63% felt negative or very negative about rolling back on the Affordable Care Act, while 22% felt positive or very positive and 13% felt neutral. When it came to federally funding organizations that provide abortion service, 62% felt negative or very negative about allowing those organizations to receive funding. 31% felt positive or very positive, indicating they believed those organizations should be receiving federal dollars.
A snippet of the survey given to McKendree students
One issue that raised the most concern was building the wall on the Mexican border, where 68% felt very negative or negative. A senior named Abby, who felt negatively regarding the wall, stated, “A celebrity television host should never have the chance to represent the country, especially when he wants to take our country back decades so women and minorities have unfair treatment.” Only 22% felt positively towards building the wall. President Trump’s executive order on travel restrictions from 7 primarily Muslim nations raised an equally high level of disapproval among the students surveyed, with 68% negative or very negative and 22% positive or very positive towards the ban.
What some may find interesting about the survey results is that students were more opinionated on the travel restrictions than any other executive order signed by President Trump. Some may also find it interesting that there was significantly higher disapproval for roll backs on the Affordable Care Act than the Dakota Access Pipeline. Students may feel more negative about rolling back the Affordable Care Act because millions of Americans could be without healthcare and would find this more important than the Dakota Access Pipeline. Also, most students know what the Affordable Care Act is, but others may not know much about the Dakota Access Pipeline construction. The most neutral responses regarded funding for organizations that perform abortion services, ostensibly because some students may not have a strict opinion on abortion or abortion services.
Students were also asked to provide additional comments on how they feel about President Trump. Only 8 students had additional information to share, 50% of which were negative comments and 50% were positive comments. An anonymous senior stated that President Trump “is what our country needs. Give the power back to the people. Fix America first.” Angie, a sophomore, agreed, stating, “I think he is going to help turn around and change our country. I believe that what he is doing is going to benefit all of us.” Jessie, a junior, was less optimistic, wishing President Trump “would do more to show a general respect and care for humanity rather than blatant disregard to the feelings of the people he is serving.” She went on to say that he needs to “recognize the immense influence he has on the rest of the world and use his platform to spread goodness and positivity instead of the fear culture and negativity he has been promoting.” Some McKendree students are very confident with how Trump has been handling the presidency, while some do not have much confidence at all. This presidential election was highly controversial from both political parties. It’s important that we remain open to new ideas, however, so we can tackle our nation’s current problems.
What do you think so far about President Trump’s presidency? If you have comments or concerns over this article, you may contact me at Allison.firstname.lastname@example.org.