Standing outside in the cold, damp weather for at least 7 hours may be the least likely thing to do on a Saturday, especially on a Kansas State game day, but for some students, that’s exactly how they spent their day in hope of grabbing their seat in the Kansas Expocentre to “Trump Up” and see President Donald Trump speak at a rally with gubernatorial candidate and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“It’s awesome to be here,” Jacob Jasper, sophomore in agricultural economics, said. “I love the environment and being here with my buddies. It’s a one-in-a-life time experience to see Donald Trump speak.”
Jasper said the feeling of patriotism and sharing their own political beliefs drew them to the rally. As new adults, expressing their rights and values, the Trump rally helped these students embrace being young Republicans, Jasper said.
“I’m super excited to be here,” Andy Nebergall, freshman in open-option, said. “Obviously, we are all 18 and ready to express our right to vote. We are wanting to help make a difference and get involved as much as possible.”
Even those who may not be in favor of President Trump said they saw value in the rally coming to Topeka. One student in particular, Victor Valdez, junior in international studies and economics, said he was not necessarily a fan of Trump or Kobach but that he thought the rally was “a really excellent avenue for students and the public to practice civil engagement.”
“It’s nice to see Kansas getting attention and it also shows the significance of the races in Kansas. Historically, they’ve been won by Republicans with little to no contest by Democrats,” Valdez said. “The rally just proves that this year is different since there is actual challenge. It’ll be interesting to see how the election plays out.”
Once the rally concluded, some students said they were grateful for the experience to see a sitting president.
“The rally was better than I could have imagined; it was an incredible experience,” Zac Oakes, freshman in business administration, said. “My friends and I were ecstatic, just like the rest of the people. We were united together as Americans and President Trump was awesome; he provided an energy like none other.”