"I refuse to be a target," more than 100 Pace University students chanted on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
"I refuse to be scared," they shouted.
"I refuse to be silent," they said in unison.
Their pledge closed out a 17-minute tribute to the 17 victims of Parkland, Fla.'s high school shooting on Feb. 14, just two weeks ago and still very fresh on the minds of the college students on Pace's Pleasantville campus.
Lindita Kulla, a sophomore from Watertown, CT, said she visited the site of the Newtown elementary school shootings on her way back to college after the Presidents Day break. "I just touched a railing and the only words out of my mouth were 'Never Again.'" Kulla said, sparking applause.
So Kulla helped organize Wednesday's rally as well as a voter registration drive.
She said that if our nation's current elected officials don't begin passing tougher gun control laws, "We'll elect new ones who will. . . . As a body of students we can effect change."
Cornell Craig, assistant dean of diversity and cultural affairs, said, "This is an opportunity for students to express their concerns."
Despite mild weather and sunny skies, Wednesday's mood was serious and somber.
Two weeks ago, 17 school children and staff members were gunned down at a south Florida high school. Kulla read the names of Parkland's school shooting victims, following by 17 seconds of silence.
"We hope this was not in vain," she said. "The violence has gone on for too long in this country."
Event co-sponsors included these student organizations at Pace: Women’s P.O.W.E.R. Group, Organization of Latin American Students (O.L.A.S.), Lambda Sigma and Pride at Pace.
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