CSU students, staff walkout for Parkland, Florida shooting victims

Samantha Ye

Video by Chapman Croskell

Students at Colorado State organized a walkout on March 23 for 17 minutes to highlight the victims of the Parkland shooting. Students, faculty and members of the community came together to hold a moment of silence for the victims. (Brandon Mendoza| Collegian)

For 17 minutes, students and staff of Colorado State University stood in silence on the Plaza. Each minute was dedicated to one of the 17 lives lost in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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The brief walkout garnered around 150 attendees, some who arrived before it began and others who joined in part-way. The crowd dispersed after the 17 minutes.

Organized by the Advocacy and Service Committee of the National Residence Hall Honorary, the event was meant both to show support for the victims and for the advocacy of the survivors. It did not have a firearm regulation element to it.

One of the organizers, Moriah Mosley, a sophomore apparel and merchandising major, stood on the Stump with a sign that read, “STAND WITH STUDENTS.”

The student committee chose to do a silent walkout partly because school walkouts have been the format the Parkland survivors and other high school students have already been using, and the committee did not want to speak over them, Mosley said.

“We didn’t want to use our own words; we wanted to be kind of a conduit for (the students),” Mosley said. “We shouldn’t be the ones talking about this. We just want to be pointing to the students. They’re already doing an amazing job at organizing, even though they shouldn’t have to, and we just want to lift that up.”

Although a silent protest could still disrupt class, Mosley said it had less of a protesting edge.

“Anything that could still disrupt school but not in a super protesting way, I think makes more of a point,” Mosley said.

The silence was also to give people a time and space to absorb the tragedy of the Parkland shooting, according to Mosley.

CSU students, faculty and community members staged a walk out for 17 minutes of silence dedicated to each of the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting. (Brandon Mendoza| Collegian)

“I think one thing that really stood out to me is that 17 minutes feels like a really long time to be silent, but it’s only one minute per life,” said Allie Ruckman, a junior journalism and communications major, after the walkout. “It’s really hard to encapsulate an entire person, their life in just one minute.”

Mosley said she wanted to do the walkout after hearing about the advocacy of the Parkland survivors.

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“I had been really sad and distraught about the Florida shooting, but then I heard that there was a committee that wasn’t even going to listen to their request for a ban on automatic weapons, and then I got mad,” Mosley said. “I was really upset that these kids had been through so much and that they still weren’t being listened to.”

Mosley was referring to the Florida House of Representatives, which voted down a motion to consider a bill to ban assault rifles and large-capacity magazines a week after the Parkland shooting, according to CBS News.

Junior fermentation science and technology major Kira Feuss said she hoped to know ways University students could support the survivors.

“I came because I wanted to do something to show my support,” Feuss said.

NRHH Advocacy and Service Vice President Hannah Cowie said the turnout was much larger than they had expected.

“(This turnout) was kind of incredible,” Cowie said. “We were afraid it’d be a really small crowd, but this was really amazing.”

Mosley also said the turnout was incredible.

“I was just so grateful to see that other people feel the same way,” Mosley said.

Collegian reporter Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.