UK graduate students organize ‘Trump Teach-In’ as inauguration looms

President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters Friday in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.
President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters Friday in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. AP

The inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday as the 45th president of the United States brings with it a host of questions about how his administration will handle a wide array of issues, including education, security, immigration and science.

A group of graduate students at the University of Kentucky will explore those questions Wednesday during “A Teach-In on the Trump Presidency,” an afternoon of lectures and discussion about the future Trump presidency and what it could mean.

“We don’t want to be affiliated with either side (politically),” said Leif Johnson, a UK geography graduate student who is one of the organizers. “What we want to do as academics and educators is to bring people with different skills and knowledge bases to talk about what we think might happen.”

Johnson, for example, will spend one of the 50-minute sessions discussing cyber security, a topic that has gotten a lot of discussion in the past few months.

“I’m going to talk about what surveillance is possible, the technology that has happened under Obama, but also what’s possible with encryption tools,” he said.

Other speakers will delve into issues including reproductive rights, immigration and LGBTQ visibility. Topics include “Appalachia in the Current Political Landscape,” “White Supremacy,” and “Threats to International Environmental Policies.” Speakers come from faculty and graduate programs from across the university.

The teach-in will be noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Blazer Dining Hall. There is no involvement by the UK administration, spokesman Jay Blanton said, but funding was provided through the UK Student Government Association.

“One of the main functions of SGA is to fund the passions and interests of our students through student organizations,” said Student Government Association president Rowan Reid said. “This project helps fulfill that purpose while providing an educational experience so that students may be more informed to make their own decisions. It is our hope that this event will encourage diverse participation and dialogue that will benefit all students.”

For more information, go to or email

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford