On March 14, one month after the Parkland, Florida shooting that killed 17 people, schools across the nation, including Chapman, will protest gun violence by staging a national school walkout at 10 a.m.
“I figured that Chapman should be a part of this movement. We shouldn’t just watch it happen without getting involved,” said Alexis Sutterman, a junior political science major who is helping organize the event.
Students participating in the protest plan to walk out of class at 10 a.m. and meet on Memorial Lawn. The event will have speakers, but Sutterman would not confirm their identities at press time.
Students will have the opportunity to sign a petition urging Congressman Lou Correa to support gun control legislation, Sutterman said.
We shouldn’t just watch it happen without getting involved.”
She decided the petition should be directed toward Correa, because the university falls within his district.
“So far Chapman has been supportive,” Sutterman said. “We hope to see a lot of professors turn out, even University President Daniele Struppa. We want it to be a collaborative effort. Even though the university is divided in political parties sometimes, this isn’t really a bipartisan issue. It’s asking for common sense gun reform.”
Chapman’s walkout is a local offshoot of a national event started by Youth EMPOWER, a subsidiary of the Women’s March.
As of March 11, 220 people were interested in attending the walkout, according to a Facebook page for the event, and 128 said they would attend.
Sutterman said she heard that different clubs on campus were talking about doing something to support the national protest, but she decided to take initiative and organize an event that everyone on campus could participate in.
“I’m very much looking forward to it and seeing a reaction. Obviously, we want some sort of reaction so there can be discussion about the actions we can take moving forward,” said Alisa Arata, a junior business administration major.