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Editorial: Students need to say #NeverAgain

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Editorial: Students need to say #NeverAgain

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Northeastern students have yet to say #NeverAgain. This hashtag began after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and has spread to schools nationwide as they take a stand against gun violence. But here at Northeastern, despite many students’ individual efforts toward the movement, there has not been a united response to gun violence.

After mass shootings occur, the public is steeped in grief. And then comes the time to act. The time to call for stricter gun control measures. The time to push for better mental health screening. The time to protest. To write letters to politicians. To make our voices heard. To end the string of tragedies. Northeastern needs to stand in solidarity with Parkland victims.

The #Enough National School Walkout was scheduled for the morning of March 14 to protest gun violence and commemorate the 17 students killed one month before in Parkland. There are around 19,000 students enrolled at Northeastern University. Less than 1 percent of Northeastern students participated, with about 30 students gathering in Krentzman Quad for the walkout.

Granted, Northeastern did have a delayed opening and student organizers did admit the low attendance could have been because not enough people saw the Facebook event. Gun violence, however, is not something we should be protesting only when it is convenient or obvious. It is a cause that needs to be constantly and actively in our minds and hearts.

This is a cause that directly affects each one of us as students. Mass shootings are not confined to elementary schools, such as in Newtown, or high schools, such as in Parkland. The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting is still ranked as the second deadliest shooting in U.S. history, taking the lives of 32 people, including the shooter. This can happen on any college campus, whether it is a friend’s, a sibling’s or even our own.

Although there is a large outpouring of activists fighting gun violence nationwide, we cannot rely on others to fight for a cause that also affects us. You may think your presence is not integral to the movement, but it is. Each voice strengthens the protests that echo toward Congress.

Furthermore, this is not a cause that we can fight once and forget. Just over a month after the Parkland shooting, a student at Great Mills High School in Maryland came to school Tuesday with a handgun. A school resource officer engaged with the shooter and was able to stop him, but not before two students were shot. Both are currently in the hospital, one with critical injuries. Let’s stop this deadly narrative together.

Luckily, it is not too late for Northeastern’s student body and administration to show support at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. If you are not already aware, the March for Our Lives will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The path runs from Madison Park Technical Vocational High School to Boston Common, passing by Northeastern’s campus along Columbus Street. For those of us who live on campus, the rally will be a mere 15 to 20 minute walk away, at most.

We at The News stand with those who plan to attend the march and encourage all students to participate. Students can make a difference. If enough of us gather, we can not only grab the attention of policymakers, but keep it.

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Editorial: Students need to say #NeverAgain