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Students walk out in solidarity with Parkland survivors

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Students walk out in solidarity with Parkland survivors

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By Alyssa Lukpat, news staff

Around 30 Northeastern students gathered in Krentzman Quad Wednesday morning to participate in the #Enough National School Walkout to protest gun violence.

At 10 a.m., students stood in a circle of silence for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 people who died one month before in the Parkland, Florida, shooting. Katie Caprio, a second-year health science major, was one of the event organizers for Northeastern’s walkout.

“The title of this event is #Enough, so we’re standing in unity with the rest of the nation and saying we’ve had enough of these shootings,” Caprio said. “As a community, we’re all in support of the Parkland survivors in the media.”

Even though Northeastern classes and offices were delayed until 10 a.m. because of Tuesday’s snowstorm, students gathered in Krentzman to show Congress they want new gun legislation in response to the shooting.

Students walked out to say they never want another mass shooting to happen in a school again, said Ally Lowitz, a first-year psychology major.

“Northeastern is making a statement that we agree there needs to be change,” Lowitz said. “People have sacrificed too much for things to stay as they are.”

Thousands of students participated in walkouts across the country, including hundreds in Boston despite school cancellation, but Lowitz thinks more people would have attended Northeastern’s walkout if morning classes hadn’t been cancelled.

“I’m a little disappointed with the number of people here this morning,” Lowitz said. “I think it had to do with the weather and people not seeing the Facebook event.”

Despite the low turnout, Jake Margolin, a third-year politics, philosophy and economics major, was proud that 30 Northeastern students joined the nationwide call for tighter gun laws.

“It’s really cool students are leading this cause and using their voice to influence change and influence policy,” Margolin said. “Students aren’t taken seriously in the political space and more often their image is used to influence a cause. But now, student voices are at the center of this.”

While several Parkland students have emerged as influential voices in the gun control debate, Caprio said she is concerned it will not make a difference because Congress is controlled by the National Rifle Association. But she is optimistic that student activism following the Parkland shooting may convince Congress to enact new gun laws.

“Tighter gun laws should absolutely have been done before Parkland,” Caprio said. “Because this happened at a high school and it was so severe, the people it affected are stepping up to make change and it’s working.”

Caprio addressed the crowd after the 17 minutes of silence and said there is strength in numbers and that she was proud of everyone who joined the walkout.

“We’re standing in solidarity with the rest of the nation and schools participating because of the Parkland shooting,” Caprio said.

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Students walk out in solidarity with Parkland survivors