Why we didn’t ‘Walkout’

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Why we didn’t ‘Walkout’

Kimberly Wilson, Opinion Editor

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The National School Walkout on March 14 saw thousands of high school and college students across the country advocate for stricter gun control laws. Specifically, some of the measures students took to the streets to demand included banning assault-style weapons and the requirement of universal background checks before gun sales.

This movement makes clear students all over the country have had enough (the rallying cry of the walkout) of mass shootings and are willing to do everything in their power to engender change. College of DuPage students weren’t involved in that though, and we’re not really surprised. There just isn’t enough of a community atmosphere here for students to have taken action.  

With COD being a commuter college, the strong bonds formed by students at other colleges and high schools aren’t found with students here. Most COD students are only thinking about their next class. Many are reluctant to even join the more than 90 clubs the school offers. Asking them to get involved in a movement as enormous as this one would have been a tough sell.

It also would not have been the best timing for students to “walk out” of class as many were taking midterm exams during that time. Many teachers would have potentially been frustrated as well, as missing a day of class would have meant they’d fall behind in the syllabus, and it can be difficult to catch up when that happens.

Then there’s the fact that even if a protest was organized by school administration or student leaders or both, there’s no guarantee the effort would have resulted in much student participation. For many students here, it just might not have been a priority.

Still, we are one of the largest educational institutions in the state. Even 10 percent of our student body standing in solidarity could have made an impact. That’s especially true considering these protests pushed Illinois senators to introduce a bill that would raise the legal age to buy an assault weapon to 21, though that bill was later vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Walking out with other students would have demonstrated our support for the movement. It would have showed we’re aware something like this could happen here as well. Gun control reform is something everyone of us should be concerned about here at COD. We do, after all, attend an open campus institution.

Everyone involved in the planning and execution of the National Walkout should be commended for their exceptional dedication to bringing about change. The fact that there was no push to be a part of that here only exemplifies the lack of a community at our community college.