Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Walk out to take action

The crowd gathered in front of Bergendoff  on Mar. 14 grew silent as the first of the 17 bells rung in commemoration of the victims from the Parkland shooting.
Augustana was one of many institutions participating in the #EnoughNationalSchoolWalkout and what resulted was a clear sign of individuals moving away from sharing their thoughts and prayers through social media posts, into a moment of action. It was a concrete sign of solidarity, where students, staff and faculty came together to speak out on the gun violence seen far too much within our schools and neighborhoods. There was even an opportunity for people to register to vote and contact their representatives.
Unfortunately, this all ended after the 17 minutes were up.
Moments like this one are limited to the events where direct action is occurring, but then forgotten with all of the different activities happening on campus, as well what each individual is going through. Not everyone has the time or the motivation to take action, whether people decided to show up at the walk out or not.
Through different online outlets and comment reactions, I have come to understand a common sentiment regarding the Parkland students fighting for Congress’s inaction. These students have come to fight and have come to make change. We applaud the younger generation for standing up against lawmakers who have done nothing to stop the violence directly affecting them.
But this isn’t a fight that should be confined to just one generation. As millennials, and as anyone over the age of 18 with the right to vote, we have a responsibility help in any way we can. We can’t stand away to the sides and keep applauding these young individuals for the change we aren’t assisting them to make.
In one of my classes this week, my professor asked for a raise of hands on who has voted already, and only a few did amongst the silence. Tuesday was the last day for voting in the Primary, but the General Election is only a few months away in November, which gives people plenty of time to register or assist in any other way. Call your representatives, assist in protests or just speak your mind: I just encourage everybody to do something.
I have a younger sibling currently in high school who is too young to vote. Since the Parkland shooting, I have been on the phone with her hearing out her frustrations and fears regarding her own safety. I also know people who can’t vote due to their citizenship status, but who still try to stay informed in what’s going on. I have a responsibility to my younger siblings to ensure their safety. I vote for those who are unable to. I can’t sit back and watch and do nothing to help ensure the safety of my own sister and others like her.
There is no end to this. Be proud on what the students are doing, but please don’t act like everything is okay just because we had a walk out.

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Walk out to take action