A College Kid’s Guide to Trump’s Presidency So Far

Between midterms, spring break and March Madness, Donald Trump’s whereabouts and to-dos are not at the forefront of any college student’s agenda. Here is your short guide to what is going on so you can participate in your family’s political arguments.

1. Immigration Ban

Starting with Trump’s most controversial action so far, The Donald signed an executive order banning immigration from six different predominately Muslim countries in order to protect against the risk of potential terrorists entering the country. There have been two drafts of this executive order so far due to the ambiguity of the first order, which left permanent residents of the U.S. stranded in the countries involved. The new draft now protects these permanent residents and excludes Iraq from the ban as long as they comply with “extreme vetting” of their immigrants to the United States. Washington and Hawaii are just two of the states that have announced their intention to challenge this ban in court on the basis of unconstitutionality.

2. Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipeline

First off, in case you are unaware of what a pipeline is, essentially it is a giant underground pipe that will carry oil to and from places across the United States. Donald Trump cleared the way for two of these giant snake pipes to be installed, despite major controversy surrounding their construction. The Keystone XL Pipeline has been contested for years now, while the DAPL has gained increasingly more attention in the news. The plan for the DAPL’s route comes dangerously close to a water source on the Sioux Standing Rock reservation, sparking huge protests in the region. After an initial win when the military announced their search for alternate routes, Trump said “never mind” and cleared the way for the originally planned construction on the basis of new jobs and an enhanced economy as a result.

3. Withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Trump removed the United States from a 12-nation partnership between nations bordering the Pacific Ocean that slashed tariffs and promoted economic relationships. Trump removed the United States on the basis that it supported jobs being outsourced elsewhere rather than supporting America’s unemployed. This action is part of Trump’s “America first” course of action. How will it affect us as college students? It probably won’t. The deal hadn’t taken effect before the U.S. withdrew.

4. Crafte a Cabinet

One of Trump’s many campaign promises was to “drain the swamp,” meaning he intends to rid the government of career politicians who have their own interests at heart. Some of Trump’s nominees for cabinet positions were definitely unusual, including Dr. Ben Carson to head The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Scott Pruitt as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Pruitt was one of the more controversial picks, recently questioning the long determined fact that carbon dioxide emissions is a large contributor to climate change. We’ll see how that goes.

5. Revoked Obama’s guidance on transgender school bathroom policy

Under the Obama administration, an executive order was signed stating that schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender by which they identify or face loss of federal funding. Donald Trump recently revoked this executive order, stating his belief in states’ rights.

6. Build the wall

Last but not least, Trump and his administration began planning the construction of the famous border wall, Trump’s most popular and well-known campaign promise. Unfortunately, Mexico doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of funding the construction, so it is still unclear when the wall will actually be erected and who is going to pay for it. Trump insists the plans are way ahead of schedule.

Stay tuned for a guaranteed action-packed year as we watch the most talked about presidency unfold.