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Nov 25 2016
by Karly Matthews

What Happened This Week in Politics: A Recount Request, #SanctuaryCampus & Thanksgiving

By Karly Matthews - Nov 25 2016

This Thanksgiving week, American politics continued to be eventful as president-elect Trump continued to make appointments to his administration, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein called for a recount in battleground states and President Obama pardoned two turkeys for Thanksgiving.

1. Ben Carson, Nikki Haley & Betsy DeVos find places in Trump's Cabinet.

This week, North Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was named UN Ambassador and former chair of the Michigan Republican Party Betsy DeVos was named Education Secretary. These appointments were some of Trump's less controversial picks and show that the president-elect's cabinet will have some diversity. Neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson is also rumored to be the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Secretary.

2. Mike Pence takes a controversial trip to Broadway.

Last Friday, vice president-elect Mike Pence attended Broadway's hit musical Hamilton with his daughter and was met with both boos and cheers when he entered the theatre. After the musical, a cast member addressed Pence directly from the stage saying, " But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us." Although Pence says he was "not offended," president-elect Trump called for an apology (multiple times), which actor Brandon Victor Dixon has thus far refused.

3. Protests at Standing Rock escalated as Thanksgiving approached.

As Thanksgiving approached, the Standing Rock Sioux and allies continued to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect sacred land from construction. Authorities recently utilized tear gas and water against protesters. On Thanksgiving, actress Jane Fonda served dinner to the protesters, bringing some positivity to a violent week.

4. One Eastern Michigan student makes a statement.

This week, Fresh U covered Taylor Amari Little and her school project about appropriation of black culture in America. Little chose to do her open-ended persuasive project to explain where "teen slang" comes from and the development of African American Vernacular English. To see her full presentation, watch her video below.

5. A new Texas law raises alarm for the LBGTQ+ community.

SB 242 was proposed in Texas this November and will be considered by the legislature beginning on January 10. The bill mandates schools to give parents information regarding "general physical, psychological or emotional well-being," but opponents of the bill argue that the wording is not specific enough, which would require schools to "out" LGBTQ+ students to their parents.

6. President Obama pardons 'Tator' and 'Tot.'

President Obama gave a satirical speech to pardon both Tator and Tot, two turkeys who will not be eaten this year for Thanksgiving. Two of the president's nephews stood by during the "ceremony" instead of his daughters, Malia and Sasha. The speech was riddled with puns and jokes to keep the air mostly light.

7. Sanctuary Campus demonstrations continue.

Fueled by Movimiento Cosecha, college students across the country are protesting against Trump's immigration policies and for protection of immigrants, documented and undocumented, on college campuses. Over 100 colleges have taken part in the movement in some way through either walk-outs or other forms of protest.

8. Jill Stein asks for a recount in battleground states.

On Wednesday, Jill Stein announced her plan to raise money for election recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maine. By later on Wednesday, The Washington Post announced that the former presidential candidate had already surpassed her goal of $2.5 million. Now, according to her website, she has almost obtained her new $4.5 million goal.

9. Trump announces he will not prosecute Hillary Clinton while in office.

During an interview with the New York Times, Trump said that he does not plan to prosecute Clinton while in office. Stating that he "doesn't want to hurt the Clintons" who have "suffered greatly," Trump stated that he has other focuses for the country. Speculation surrounds his comments now because in reality, it's not the president's job - rather that of the Department of Justice - to decide whether or not to prosecute individuals.

10. College protests and demonstrations against Trump continue.

Since November 8, college campuses have been the leaders of the #NotMyPresident movement. Since then movements like the aforementioned #SanctuaryCampus have also taken root. The Huffington Post is keeping tabs on college movements as they happen at this link, and watch for Fresh U's coverage of these protests and demonstrations as well.

In the coming weeks, presidential-elect Trump's appointments will continue, and President Obama will perform his 'lasts' in office. Remember to have your voice heard on campus regarding current events in politics.

Lead Image Credit: CNN

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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