Newly elected president Donald Trump has become a polarizing figure in the political realm.
Trump proposed to establish a Territory and Commonwealth Advisory Committee to keep in contact with Guam and the rest of the territories.
UOG President Robert Underwood gave his thoughts on Trump’s proposal.
Underwood explained that, “this is really for the Republican Party leaders on Guam to navigate. They should be explaining to us as a general rule what the Governor has heard about this and the status of the people that are appointed to this planned committee. Other Republican leaders should be alerting us to that because I certainly don’t have a special pipeline to the president himself.”
President Trump has also promised that there will be a special assistant to keep day to day interaction with the TCAC and that the committee will comprise of representatives from the territories such as Guam and American Samoa.
Underwood also expressed the likeliness of this coming into fruition.
“Invariably, whether it was Obama or George Bush, every last year of their term they would issue a report about the status of the territories stating how they wish they could’ve done something,” Underwood said. “If President Trump wants to be the first to break that cycle, I wish him well for us to get in on the front end of the conversation but right now I don’t see that happening.”
Another part of this TCAC plan is to perform a holistic review of all federal regulations affecting the territories and commonwealths. Having a department to answer to and a process for problems that concern the territories and to have an is the main concern to address in Dr. Underwood’s eyes.
“They’ve tried to solve this during the Clinton administration by creating IGIA (Intergovernmental Insular Affairs Office) but it isn’t really an office in the White House to raise issues to,.” Underwood said.
Around campus, the student perspective is focused on how President Trump will affect the curriculum that will be available in the general education system and to University students in the upcoming years.
“Trump is taking the previous administration’s policies and flipping most of their policies but I’m concerned as to whether his decisions will benefit certain programs within school such as fine arts programs,.” Paulino said.
Kristina Blaz, a Spring 2016 graduate and recent attendee of the 2016 Republican National Convention offered a more optimistic view on his presidency.
“As of right now, people should remain positive because the full effect of his decisions have not come into play. When I went to the Republican Convention, I had the opportunity to learn a good deal about the presidential process and it was interesting to see Trump speak and his family speak on his behalf to show a different standpoint rather than what is frequently shown in the media. As a president, I feel sometimes we need an outsider and the fact that he is a successful businessman makes me think he can to bring a new perspective for change in this position.”