How Columbia Students Can Respond to the Issue of Gun Violence on School Campuses
Following the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, high-school and college-aged students across the country have begun organizing marches and protests in response to Congress’ failure to pass tighter gun control laws. More specifically, survivors of the shooting have announced March For Our Lives, which will take place on Washington, D.C. on March 24, while the Women’s March has called for a national school walkout, which will last 17 minutes on March 14, in remembrance of the 17 victims who died during the shooting.
University administrations including that of Dartmouth, Brown, Yale, and MIT have issued assurances that students applying to or enrolling in these institutions will not have their acceptances reconsidered or rescinded due to applicants’ involvements in the walkouts and/or protests. Likewise, Columbia’s administration issued a statement of the same sentiment.
But what can students already on Columbia’s campus do to show our support for improved gun legislation? Firstly, a sister event for March For Our Lives will take place in New York City, also on March 24. Attend it. More information on the sister march can be found here:
However, it is important to remember that marches are just the first step toward creating concrete, legal change. Columbia students should also register for the march through the March for Our Lives’ website to receive updates on how to remain involved with the movement following March 24. As of now, exactly what structure the March for Our Lives organizers will create for addressing gun legislation is unclear, but we must wait and respond to how this group asks for our aid in the future, that we can then directly support the survivors according to their own vision.
In the meantime, Columbia students should continue to vocalize our support for tighter gun restrictions. Though the institution we attend has issued a statement regarding this particular shooting, there is much work to be done regarding the greater issue of gun violence as it relates to school campuses and beyond. An easy way to remain involved is by contacting your congresspersons, either over the phone or through written mail. Below are resources to get involved:
Find your House Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives
Find your Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm