Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Admissions support high school students protesting against gun violence

Several other colleges including Brown University are also committed

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(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Alvin Buyinza, Assistant News Editor

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A recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, resulted in 17 deaths and at least 14 injured. The University of Massachusetts’ Office of Admissions has decided to protect the admissions applications of high school students who’ve been punished for engaging in peaceful protests against gun violence.

Typically universities withhold the right to either retract the acceptance of an admitted student who has been disciplined by their school or not admit them at all.

However, on. Feb. 22 the UMass Office of Admissions posted on their official Facebook page:

“Students: If you participate in peaceful protests against gun violence and receive school discipline for walking out, staging your protest, etc., please rest assured that you can report it to UMass Amherst, and it will not affect your admission decision.”

The post has been shared 4,548 times and has attracted hundreds of comments expressing strong support of the decision.

According to a statement made by Mary Dettloff, deputy director of news and media relations, “The UMass Admissions Office decided to take this proactive stance as a way to inform prospective students ahead of planned protests in March.”

On March 14, Women’s March Youth EMPOWER will be conducting a nationwide school walk out. According to their website, at 10 a.m. students, teachers, school administrators and parents are encouraged to take part in the protest for 17 minutes, to commemorate the lives of the 17 students and staff taken during the Feb. 14 mass shooting.

In addition to this, on March 24 the political activism group, March for Our Lives, will be conducting a mass protest on the streets of Washington D.C., to demand action be taken to end gun violence in America.

The decision by the Office of Admissions will also apply to students past the class of 2022 who decide to take part in protests against gun violence, stated Detloff.

“I personally think this is a great idea,” said Amy Nickerson, a junior music and communication major in response to the decision made by UMass. “I think students participating in activism is one of the largest ways we mobilize political change within a grassroots perspective and I think students taking on that responsibility at a young age before they even enter college is something that should be encouraged.”

Along with UMass, several universities across America are also dedicated to this admission policy, including nearby Smith College, Brown, Northeastern, Bucknell and Boston University.

Alvin Buyinza, Assistant News Editor, can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @abuyinza_news.

 

1 Comment

One Response to “UMass Admissions support high school students protesting against gun violence”

  1. Ed Cutting on February 28th, 2018 2:37 pm

    So let me see — the same UMass that expels students for violating its rules is essentially encouraging high school students to violate their school’s rules.
    And what’s going to happen when these kids come in to UMass next fall???

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