Aiming to end violence

Abby Ledoux ’14
March 21, 2013

Emerson students are putting a bull’s eye on gun violence with Aim to End Violence Week beginning Monday, March 25.

With numerous campus events promoting discussion on firearm-related deaths and civic engagement among students, the week was inspired by President Lee Pelton’s recently launched initiative on the gun issue, which received support from nearly 300 college and university presidents, said Dylan Manderlink ’14. Manderlink is president of the student group Emerson Peace and Social Justice, which has organized the week’s events.

“We were even more inspired by President Pelton’s initiative…and how we as students can be active in changing policies and in creating a cultural dialogue surrounding this issue,” she said.

Manderlink hopes the week will remind students that the issue is more than just a policy debate happening on Capitol Hill.

 

“We have now strayed so far from the tragedy that...we don’t have a personal connection to it anymore.”

 

“When people talk about gun laws and gun control, there’s no emotional side to it anymore; it’s just strictly from a political and policy-oriented point of view,” Manderlink said. “We have now strayed so far from the tragedy that...we don’t have a personal connection to it anymore."

During the week, students are asked to wear colors corresponding to the location of past mass shootings to show their solidarity with victims, attend a town hall meeting, discuss gun violence statistics with the College polling club, and use artistic expression about gun violence in an event called Painting Your Pain.

John Rosenthal, founder of the Boston-based nonprofit organization Stop Handgun Violence, will give a lecture Tuesday, March 26, highlighting the political conflicts surrounding America’s culture of gun violence. James Wallace, a Second Amendment lobbyist, will lecture Thursday, March 28, about the intricacies of civil rights and gun ownership. Rosenthal spoke at Emerson in February during a panel discussion on gun laws that was hosted by Emily Rooney of WGBH.

“I want this week to remind everyone that these are people we’re talking about,” Manderlink said. “We need to…find a call to action to reinstate that sensitivity and reinstate that emotional connection to the issue, so we don’t lose sight of how important human beings are.”

The organizations co-sponsoring events throughout the week include Active Minds; Emerson Polling Society; Communications, Politics and Law Association; Emerson Forensics; Emerson Democrats; Emerson Republicans; Kidding Around; Emerson Mane Events; and the Class of 2015.

 

Here is a list of Aim to End Violence Week events:

Wear Sandy Hook Colors

When: Monday, March 25, all day

Wear the colors green and white to stand in solidarity with the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

Paint Your Pain

When: Monday, March 25, 3:00–5:00 pm

Where: Multipurpose Room, Piano Row

Share your thoughts and feelings on the gun violence issue creatively by joining Emerson Peace and Social Justice in an afternoon of artistic expression and free food.

 

Active Minds/Chew Up Stigma

When: Monday, March 25, 5:00–7:00 pm

Where: Piano Row (tables)

Nibble tasty treats while swallowing truth. Cookies and information on how mental health plays into the gun debate.

 

Candlelight Vigil

When: Monday, March 25, 7:00–8:00 pm

Where: Gazebo, Boston Common

In a candlelight vigil organized by the Class of 2015, take a moment to pay tribute to the numerous victims of gun violence and speak for the silenced. Light a candle and join us for this act of solemn remembrance.

 

Wear Virginia Tech

When: Tuesday, March 26, all day

Wear the colors red and brown to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.

 

Emerson’s Aim Banner

When: Tuesday, March 26, 12:00–5:00 pm

Where: Room 113, Piano Row

Show your support for Emerson’s Aim to End Violence Week by signing your name, writing a message, or leaving your handprint on the banner.

 

John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence

When: Tuesday, March 26, 8:00–10:00 pm

Where: Room 202, Walker Building

John Rosenthal, founder of the Boston-based nonprofit organization Stop Handgun Violence, and who spoke at Emerson last month in a panel discussion on gun laws, will talk about the staggering effects of gun violence. His lecture will highlight the political conflicts surrounding America’s culture of gun violence.

 

Wear Columbine

When: Wednesday, March 27, all day

Wear the colors blue and gray to remember the victims of the Columbine High School shooting.

 

Emerson College Polling Society

When: Wednesday, March 27, 6:30–8:00 pm

Where: Room L151, Piano Row

Come to a thoughtful presentation by the student club the Emerson College Polling Society, which has received media attention for conducting a series of scientific polls on violence in the United States. They will be sharing their conclusions on the life-or-death issue.

 

Bowling for Columbine (screening)

When: Wednesday, March 27, 9:00–11:00 pm

Where: Room 233, Walker Building

Join us for a screening of Michael Moore’s documentary, in which the filmmaker explores the possible causes for the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and other violent acts involving guns.

 

Wear Batman

When: Thursday, March 28, all day

Wear Batman t-shirts of the colors black and yellow to remember the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting.

 

James Wallace, Second Amendment lobbyist

When: Thursday, March 28, 6:00–7:00 pm

Where: Room 210, Walker Building

James Wallace, a Second Amendment lobbyist, will lecture about the intricacies of civil rights and gun ownership. He will provide insight into the political conflict that surrounds gun violence (sponsored by Communication, Politics and Law Association).

 

Town Hall Meeting

When: Thursday, March 28, 8:00–10:00 pm

Where: Room 151, Piano Row

Express your opinions about the politics of the issue in a discussion led by Emerson Forensics, Emerson Democrats, and Emerson Republicans.

 

Kidding Around

When: Friday, March 29, 5:00–6:30 pm

Where: Multipurpose Room, Piano Row

Join Kidding Around for a performance with excerpts read from The Bully Plays. These powerful vignettes will shed light on the growing epidemic of bullying and violence in schools.

Letter Writing

When: Saturday, March 30, 12:00–4:00 pm

Where: Multipurpose Room, Piano Row

We will be writing letters to our congresspeople to express our thoughts on legislation on firearms. Come share your opinion and get involved in our political dialogue. Food will be provided.

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