Students React to Sen. Franken's Resignation Announcement

Dan Romano
December 07, 2017 10:12 PM

The announcement of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's resignation was a hot topic for many students at UMD. Even with the end of the semester right around the corner, it wasn't long before dozens gathered to watch Franken talk on the large television in Kirby Hall.

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Many students said they were disappointed in Franken when the allegations were first announced. And on Thursday, those same students say the move was necessary, including campus democrats like Brian Muhs. Muhs is the president of the school’s college democrats club.

"I was very disappointed with the allegations, especially for Al Franken," said Muhs.

For Senior Willow Huber, Thursday's speech was upsetting to say the least. Huber is not only a political science major graduating in a couple weeks, but she also interned for Sen. Franken at his office in Duluth.

"I am sad to see Sen. Franken go, but I think it's important his actions have consequences,” said Huber.

Other students like first-year transfer student Owen Hansen that looked up to Franken shared the same sentiment.

“We need to recognize our faults freely. We're not perfect and I don't think we have to be. But if we are leading, we have to show that we are holding ourselves to a higher standard. He's doing that," said Hansen.

With massive influx of sexual assault and harassment allegations hitting both Hollywood and the political world, some students like senior Tyler Smith are waiting for next shoe to drop.

“With this whole #MeToo movement, there's been so many people just coming forward and so many allegations brought forth. It's who's next basically," said Smith.

Both President Trump and republican US Senate candidate Roy Moore from Alabama have faced similar allegations. And with Franken suggesting that in his speech, those students reacted to the parallels.

“I thought that was awesome. I think they need to be called out, and I thought that was the perfect arena to do it in,” said Huber.

“We have to make sure that we are consistent across the board even if we are a bigger fan of Franken's politics as a whole."

"I hope that he sets an example for other people in power in the country to be held accountable for their actions,” said Huber.

Other students said that if there is a silver lining to Franken’s resignation, they say that all of this is creating a greater awareness for sexual assault and harassment and rape culture throughout the entire country.


Dan Romano

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