Canisius community joins in national solidarity walkout

By Cameron Lareva

Assistant News Editor

The Canisius College community came together on Wednesday, March 14, to join the nation in a Walkout of Solidarity from 10:00 a.m. to 10:17 a.m. The walkout signified the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, that occurred on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The event lasted 17 minutes, to mourn the 17 victims in the Parkland shooting, as well as victims of gun violence across the nation.

Canisius students organized on the corner of Jefferson and Main St., near Science Hall. They held orange signs, each with a name of one of the Parkland shooting victims, the age at which they passed away, and #NeverAgain. Students also held signs that called for reform on current gun laws in order to prevent future incidents of gun violence.  

The walkout began with a welcome from Madelyn Reed ‘18, who was a main organizer of the walkout. Then, the 17 names of the victims of the Parkland shooting were read allowed, followed by a moment of silence. The walkout continued with reading statistics of mass shootings and gun violence across the country, and ways the Canisius community can evoke change. They spoke of companies that are boycotting the NRA and the power of upcoming midterm elections. The event ended with orange ribbons being passed around to wear for solidarity and then a march with unison chants calling for change in gun laws.  

“Planning began about two weeks ago, and it wasn’t really planning at first,” said Reed. “I just said, ‘We’re doing this,’ without too many other details.”

The walkout was advertised through a Facebook event, flyers, and dorm storming the night before. Reed explained that many organizers of the event are active, on-campus leaders, however, the walkout had no direct support or connection to any Canisius clubs.

Reed explains that Canisius College can cause change on the national level by boycotting companies that defend the NRA. She also wants the Canisius community to get in contact with representatives to show that they support change. Reed also stresses that Canisius students need to get involved in midterm elections, saying, “Our generation, our age, needs to vote.”

Reed also mentions ways that the Canisius community can make changes at the college itself. She explains how the college classrooms have doors that open into the hallway rather than into the classroom, so there is no way to barricade the doors. Most of the classroom doors also don’t have the capability to lock from the inside. Reed explains that the school should invest in deadbolts that can be locked from the inside, in case there was a violent attack on campus.

There are multiple events coming up to try and combat gun violence across the country. Reed hopes the Canisius community will continue to be active in reforming gun laws, saying, ”Columbine was the first and should have been the last.”

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