MPB hosts Vikings vs. violence on the brew

Augie+sophomores+Caleb+Minnis+%28Left%29+and+Alondra+Ochoa+%28Right%29+lead+the+nights+discussions+on+gun+violence+on+September+25th%2C+2019.

Augie sophomores Caleb Minnis (Left) and Alondra Ochoa (Right) lead the night’s discussions on gun violence on September 25th, 2019.

Melida Castro

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Multicultural Programming Board (MPB) from the Office of Student Life (OSL) organized a discussion about armed violence in the United States. The discussion was called Vikings vs Violence, with the intent to create a safe space for students to speak about their point of view on gun laws and possible solutions.

According to sophomore Caleb Minnis,  co-chair of the awareness and outreach committee, MPB “focuses on all things multicultural – not one black and Hispanic or Latino, but also white, Asian, etc. – everyone is under those categories. Basically, we want to create a way that all students can feel comfortable and can have something they can relate to their culture.”

This event was part of a series of honest conversations held on campus. These conversations are to create a platform for students to express their voices and bring personal insights to a topic in a safe environment.

Minnis said, “Tonight’s event, Vikings vs. Violence, is about gun violence, school shootings and public gun violence. It’s not as much as we are taking the stance, but we are bringing up the conversation, the statistics, etcetera, in order to have students respond in a way that we can see what the opposing views are. In a way, this is going to give us a synopsis of what the student population thinks.”

Sophomore Alondra Ochoa, co-chair of the awareness and outreach committee, said, “The fact that we’ve [the United States] had this many shootings and nothing has been done is ridiculous.”

Ochoa said that “it is important to have an open dialogue among your peers because we all come from a different background,  so we can all provide different opinions and experiences with delicate issues such as armed violence.”

Ochoa believes Vikings vs. Violence reached its goal because “we had students from mixed backgrounds and experiences, so it provided a well-developed conversation while being respectful of each other.”

Senior Gregory Roskowic attended Viking vs. Violence on Wednesday night and was one of the only students with a pro-gun stance.

“I attended the event because I am a gun owner. I love shooting, I love hunting and I just wanted to see what everybody else was thinking,” Roskowic said.

Roskowic believes that MPB did a good job of maintaining a non biased environment. “I thought the questions were really good, open-ended, [questions and]  they weren’t really pro or against [gun use].”

In the end, Minnis invited everyone to participate no matter their point of view as long as they are respectful of others.

“Conversation creates change,” Minnis said. “People are often afraid to talk about topics like armed violence due to their delicate nature, but I believe it is important to talk about them.”