University RSOs participate in March for Our Lives



Ingrid Lopez rallies her fellow students as they chant, “No More Guns,” during the National School Walkout for Gun Control on March 14, 2018, at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles.

Local high school students and community organizations are taking part in March for Our Lives, a nation-wide movement that supports increased gun control and school safety measures, according to the March for Our Lives website.

The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Douglass Park in Champaign. Students plan to give speeches, march through the park and visit community organizations to discuss measures for reducing gun violence. Multiple organizations will be present, including UIUC Students Against Gun Violence and the Illini Democrats.

“This movement is significant because we are the voices of tomorrow and we’re saying enough is enough. All across the country teenagers are saying enough,” Charles Osley, sophomore in ACES and an executive member of UIUC Students Against Gun Violence, said in an email. “This will hopefully bring real and lasting change.”

UIUC Students Against Gun Violence was rebooted shortly after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, he said.

According to Osley, Abby Weber, freshman in LAS and executive member of the organization, said she felt she could be doing more to help end gun violence and discovered there was no longer a registered student organization that did this. She contacted two of her friends to see if they were interested in helping reboot the organization.

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“This movement has been in the making for quite some time, as gun violence has continued to shock our communities, but it has now transitioned into a force spearheaded by students, a move that has demanded the attention of politicians,” Audrey Dombro, sophomore in ACES and communications director for the Illini Democrats, said in an email.

The march will symbolize widespread support for gun reform, she said.

“We hope our partnership in this march sends a message to our local and national politicians that there is unwavering support for action on gun violence,” Dombro said. “Moreover, we want to highlight the realistic and necessary legislative approaches that must be taken to reform the system through which Americans exercise their second amendment right.”

Osley said his organization and others involved hope to increase awareness of the effect of gun violence within the community.

Similar events will take place in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

“We also want people to know that we accept people of all backgrounds and even welcome those who are pro-gun. We aren’t anti-gun, we’re anti-gun violence,” Osley said.

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