SPFHS activists share their thoughts on President Biden’s Inauguration


Emily Wyrwa

Junior Chloe Howell had counted down the days until Nov. 3, 2020 for most of the Trump administration. She recalls the hum of the news on her TV as she religiously refreshed her phone awaiting the results of the election that week, sitting in her living room with various family members throughout the days.  


When President Biden was declared victorious, Howell started a new countdown with an end date of Jan. 20, 2021. 


“I was just looking forward to it,” Howell said. “I knew ‘oh five more days,’ ‘one more day until we’re out of this mess and then we can go into our new administration.’”


Howell spent a large part of her 2020 becoming more politically active; she always cared about global issues, but when Trump was impeached in Jan. 2020, she started waking up to the state of her country. She felt particularly inspired by the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, raising her voice on social media and participating in numerous local protests. 


“With the past administration people have voiced opinions that I don’t agree with, and it’s made me feel more strongly about the way I see things,” Howell said. “I just want to help make a change because I don’t like the direction that the country’s going.”


Watching the inauguration, Howell recognized that Biden’s calls for unity may be unachievable, but she felt something she had been missing for much of the past four years: hope. 


“I just don’t even know if it’s [unity is] possible with the place we are right now,” Howell said. “But I think we will be able to [eventually]. It’ll just take time and people have to see the benefits of these changes and how they will help people, especially people in [marginalized] groups…. [Unity] has to come from citizens and the people and they want to start listening to each other.”


Senior Chloe Alce, however, feels decidedly less optimistic. 


“Biden is a centrist, essentially, and he’s only a band-aid who’s going to cover deeply complex issues and who knows how long that band-aid is going to actually stay on,” Alce said. 


Alce considers herself an advocate for intersectionality within the feminist movement, as well as environmentalism, in particular. She hopes that President Biden will not only put out immediate fires but become a more active supporter for social and environmental movements. 


“Biden needs to have a more progressive stance,” Alce said. “The issue is that Biden wants to appeal to both sides, but in times of crisis, you have to take a radical or very progressive stance. You can’t just say be in the middle.”


Alce is concerned that her peers may neglect to hold President Biden and Vice President Harris accountable now that they have taken office, and encourages her peers to be more mindful of their media consumption. 


“The thing is for our generation, the only sources that they look at is from social media,” Alce said. “They look at Instagram graphics, like ‘so you want to talk about,’ or the ‘Settle for Biden page,’ TikTok. That’s a perfectly different newsroom. [It’s] not fair to say everyone does that, but I know a lot do, or if they do read the news just read a headline of it…. They need to look into the cabinet, to… pay more close attention by looking at other news sources other than the Washington Post and New York Times.”