Rally held at the Rock to protest President Trump's travel ban
Despite the freezing temperature and snow, hundreds of people gathered Tuesday night at the the Rock on Farm Lane for the No Ban, No Wall: Spartans for Sanctuary and Solidarity Rally after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 barring citizens of seven countries from traveling to the United States. The event was hosted by the Michigan State Muslim Students Association.
"I think it's not fair to generalize an entire group of people," high school student Eaman Ali said.
Of the hundreds of people gathered at the Rock, which has been the site of numerous rallies on campus, many held signs in protest of the executive order. Others held up signs in solidarity with Muslim students.
Almost immediately after the release of the executive order, Trump faced backlash across country as many gathered at airports to support refugees and stand firm against what many have called a "Muslim ban."
"I'm a Muslim American. My future as a Muslim American is in jeopardy," Betoul Ali, an attendee at the rally said.
Others at the rally spoke out, including University Lutheran Church Pastor Sarah Midzalkowski and political science senior Maisie Rodriguez.
"I don't know where we're going, but I hope it's together," Rodriguez said. "I'm scared, but I have my community."
Chants of "no ban, no wall" and "no ban, no fear, everyone is welcome here," occurred throughout the rally, sometimes led by speakers.
"Please step out of your comfort zone, speak with other people," public health senior Ahmad Hassan said to the crowd. "Educate yourself."
Rally attendee Lisa Slanger stressed the importance of an inclusive America.
"I think it's very important that we keep America open to everyone," East Lansing resident Slanger said.
Abraham Aiyash, president of the Michigan State Muslim Students Association ended the rally with a request.
"Don't act out, but act," Aiyash said. "We should always keep fighting."
The Office for International Students and Scholars is holding an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1 to address the impact of the executive order and what it means for current students.