Nook on the Street, March 20, 2018

Following the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, students nationwide organized walkouts in protest of gun violence in the United States. The first of these walkouts happened on Wednesday, March 14, with another scheduled for later in March and one planned for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting. This week we asked students: what do you think of the protests?

“I think they’re really important, which is good because these kids are using their right to protest. You see all these activists and other movements and it’s doing the same thing, and these kids, who are much younger than [the activists], are doing something that they know can very much get them into trouble, such as being arrested, but they do it anyway. So, I find it very powerful that these kids would know the risk of doing it; that they believe so much that their schools should be safe that they are walking out.”

Alanna Argudo, social work, senior

“I think it’s a good thing to protest if people know what they’re actually protesting about. For example, I think it’s pretty odd if a bunch of students are hopping on the bandwagon. But if you are actually protesting, knowing exactly what you are protesting, and you have true feelings about that, then I don’t think it’s a bad thing: it’s a good thing to show your opinion.”

Benson Hoover, petroleum engineering, senior

“I think it’s the students’ way of trying to make a point, and it’s their way of protesting because they’re high school students. So, honestly this isn’t going to do very much, but it’s going to show something, which is going to make an impact. Kids under 18 are taking this seriously. They see that there needs to be a change, and there hasn’t been a change so far, so they are doing what they think they can with the power that they have and showing that enough is enough. All these shootings happening in schools, it’s not acceptable anymore for politicians just to stand by and throw second amendment around. Students are getting fed up and they think it’s ridiculous, so they are using the power they think they have and are doing what they can do. Of course, it’s not like a whole lot, they’re not changing anything, any sort of political rules, like anything, but they’re doing what they can, and I think that’s pretty powerful.”

Harriett Salvador-Smith, nursing, junior

“I think, personally, if protests are conducted in a way that more or less are just trying to cause a scene, you’re not really making it clear what you’re protesting. Those, to me, don’t make a point. But when you do it in a way that you know it’s peaceful—it can be a march or a walk—those I’m totally behind because those kind of protests serve a purpose, like ‘hey this is what we are walking for.’ We stand together on it, it’s a peaceful protest, so if it serves a purpose and doesn’t hurt anyone else, then great.”

Gracen Loveless, Japanese Studies, freshman

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