Students demand action

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On March 21, CU-Boulder Students Demand Action (CU-SDA) held our first public meeting, hosting  85 members of the CU-Boulder and greater BVSD community in a town hall format. The student led and managed group was formed less than two weeks ago in response to the most recent horrific events and 17 deaths in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The CU-SDA group was officially recognized as a student organization by CU’s Center for Student involvement the same day of the town hall meeting.

CU-SDA’s focus is on empowering students to enact change and unify our voices under a common front. We believe in the need to find solutions across both sides of the aisle, especially given the polarized political atmosphere which has failed to enact any meaningful changes in legislation. To that end, our first meeting was not a group of shouting donkeys or elephants, screaming red and/or blue radicals. Instead, and from various different voices, CU-SDA emphasized that students and parents no longer feel safe — and that both sides must find common ground and lasting solutions and gun sense in America.

One attendee, Savant Suykerbuyk, a CU aerospace student stood up and said, “Even though my opinions probably differ compared to most of yours, the way this meeting went is exactly what makes me want to get involved. I think if we can talk to one another, we’ll find we have more in common with each other than our differences.” CU-SDA pledges to continue to provide a place for all opinions to be voiced and heard while remaining steadfast in its pursuit for gun sense in America. CU-SDA leader, Sarah Shortall, remarked, “I am (and we’re) not against the Second Amendment, but obviously something must change.”

Joining CU-SDA were several board members from Never Again Colorado, Moms Demand Action and the CO Alumni chapter of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. BVSD was represented by Fairview High School and various middle school students.

Our position: We want every student to feel safe because currently we do not. One CU student commented, “There are no locks in most of my classrooms. I’m a sophomore and never once has there been an active shooter drill since I’ve been a student here.” We made it known that beginning with CU-Boulder, making schools safe again is and will remain our top priority. We recognize that we are not alone in the fight to improve safety for students and educators. We stressed this point because real solutions require conversations between sensible people with different points of view. At the end of the day, as Sarah Shortall pointed out, something must change. Our community and our country cannot afford to continue to go on this way.

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