HEFAS and MSA hosts symbolic, supportive Wall of Solidarity before Trump inauguration2 min read


Photos by Natalie Valencia

Higher Educations For AB 520 Students (HEFAS) and Muslim Student Association (MSA) reminded students of the unconditional support at De Anza College with a “Wall of Solidarity” on Jan. 19, a day before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

The Wall of Solidarity hung in front of the HEFAS office, loaded with post-it notes and markers for students to write on butcher paper how they felt about current political events. It proved to be much more than words on a wall.

HEFAS recruitment coordinator, Brenda Pantoja, 23, business major, encouraged the idea of building the wall in efforts to combat Trump and his political agenda.  “We wanted to give Trump his wall but with love, support and solidarity,” Pantoja said.

The post-it notes idea came from an art demonstration held in on a New York subway, where people wrote their feelings on post it notes and stuck them on a wall. According to Pantoja, it helped bring in not only artists but people who prefer not to “take direct action and give a chance to express themselves.”

“We wanted to show them, them as in the people that are scared, that they have the support and that we are always going to be here,” Pantoja said. “This presence  —  the social justice community organizations on campus  —  is not going anywhere, especially in the next four years. It’s just going to get stronger.”

As a safe space for dialogue, the Wall of Solidarity represented a symbol of people uniting together. “Right now there’s a lot of protests, but I feel like people will forget about it in the next two or three months,” HEFAS Itzel Sanchez, 20, sociology major said. “That’s the time we need to put in work, not just right now.”

Students also supported the idea of the Wall of Solidarity as a place to voice and express opinions and feelings. Elizabeth “Liz” Chacon, 19, biology major, saw the wall as “a good outlet to say what’s on your mind.”

“It’s not something you see everyday,” Chacon said. “Even if it changes one person’s perspective, it still matters.”
Marc Loya, 21, economics major, said, “It’s what we need to talk about.” He said the wall gets an idea of how people are feeling.