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Op-ed: Class of 2022 statement on peaceful protests

Class of 2022 members

Dear Washington University community,

As members of the Washington University in St. Louis Class of 2022, we are extremely appalled by the tragic shooting that recently occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Even more so, we are outraged by the cycle of gun violence encroaching on our country and society. We send our thoughts and prayers to those who lost their lives, as well as all others who have been affected, and hope that our country will not witness a similar atrocity ever again. In light of the events succeeding the shooting, members of the class of 2022 have deemed it necessary for our voices to be heard in order to incite greater and more meaningful discussions regarding gun safety. Although we may not know each other yet, we are unified in the fact that we intend to acknowledge key points relating to gun violence and gun control, advocating for healthy debate among fellow students, faculty and community stakeholders to evaluate an optimal solution to our societal strife.

As we continue to grieve over the 17 innocent lives lost this past Valentine’s Day, we recognize that we must take immediate action in order to ensure a safer future for ourselves, our peers across the country and future generations. We are immensely grateful for the support of the Wash. U. community, especially the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, in our effort to achieve this goal. We encourage our future classmates to raise their voices in the fight to protect their lives. Though we may be young, we still have the power to make a profound and lasting difference; we are neither too young nor too weak to make our voices heard. The tremendous amount of public reactions to the shooting from teens nationwide and around the world signifies that we are experiencing the greatest mobilization of youth we have seen in our lifetimes, and we each have a responsibility to join others in this historic movement. We are the generation from which future students will learn and take inspiration.

We, as members of the class of 2022, support all students in their peaceful yet necessary endeavor to advocate for a continually safe and conducive atmosphere, especially noting the recent horrific events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Whether it be through the national school walkout on March 14, protests, contacting local representatives or awareness campaigns, we encourage our fellow class of 2022 members to join us in speaking out and taking action against the heinous gun violence plaguing our country.

Regardless of where you stand politically, we can all agree that gun violence needs to end, and it needs to end now—especially in our schools. We are the generation that sits in school buildings every day. We are the generation that will guarantee that tragedies such as the one that occurred in Parkland, as well as countless schools throughout the country, are never repeated. We are the next generation, and we demand change.

We hope you join us,

On behalf of members of the class of 2022: Jaden Satenstein, Daniel Schefer, Selena Nandiwada, Jayla Butler, Emily Xu, Ayush Halder, Zachary McMillen, Porscha Hayes, Elleigh Spragg, Dori Balser, Victor Kalil, Claire Coats, Ben Nahass, Whitney Omoruyi, Madison Cooper, Emily McClanahan, Neha Shyamani, Renee Blachman, Bari Levitt, Arielle Smith, Robert Tillman, Leah Wallihan, Beh Nahass, Emma Harrison, Morgan Held, Saras Perry-Anderson, Elena Biske, Ayda Oktem, Isabel Edison, Emerine Cummings, Alex Cestari, Ansley Avis, Avery Friedman, Jack Fowler, Jared Glickman, Vaishali Shah, Hannah Hoffmann