By Victoria Martin, News Editor
Around 100 EC students and faculty members joined together around the Brune Patio on national walkout day to speak out against gun violence in America on Wednesday, March 14.
At 10 a.m. the EC community left their classes and met for 17 minutes in the center of campus one month after the Parkland shooting that took the lives of 17 students and teachers.
During the walkout students stood in a line and spoke on the issues of guns in America and called for reform.
One student speaker, EC senior Noor Alkhawaja, begged the question of when enough is enough.
“How many more horror stories do we have to hear about shootings in the streets, in schools, in places where we expect parents, lovers, friends, children, brothers and sisters to be safe, before we can finally understand the gravity of gun violence?” Alkhawaja asked.
Another student, EC senior Estrella Vargas, reflected on her own life and educational career as being marked by gun violence and her hope that Parkland is the event that would finally change minds.
“My lifetime and educational career have been marked by Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Stoneman Douglas as well as Michael Brown, Philando Castile, and Laquan McDonald,” Vargas said. “It is my hope that now as a country and as individuals we can say we’ve had enough.”
EC sophomore Noah Pearson, who has previously contributed to the Leader, spoke against the NRA and their money hungry agenda by comparing the NRA’s reactions to the school shooting and the police killing of an innocent black gun owner in 2016.
“This just demonstrates that the intentions of the NRA are not to protect the second amendment or gun owners,” said Pearson, “but to seize power in the form of lobbying and make money at the expense of children.”
Earlier, after a moment of silence, Pearson called for those in attendance to not stop the motion for change with the walkout.
“Don’t let your outrage die out. Don’t let this passion dissipate. Don’t stop after this walkout and allow the action to end. This demonstration is just the beginning,” said Pearson.
While the students who made speeches seemed supportive and passionate on the need for change, it became clear that not all 100 people in attendance were there solely for the cause.
As students and faculty started to disperse, one student made a comment on the fact that they received extra credit for attending the walkout.
When talking to one of the student organizers, Katrina Mioduszewski, she mentioned that one of her professors walked out of their class and students just followed.
“Some professors left their classes and students just followed. If their professors were already planning on coming the students came as well,” said Mioduszewski.