Young Progressives use shoes to raise campus awareness of gun violence

Published by , Author: Hope Hoehler - Rocket Contributor, Date: May 3, 2018
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On Tuesday outside the second floor of the Smith Student Center from 10 a.m. to the following day at 2 p.m., the SRU Young Progressives put out pairs of shoes. Each pair represented a victim of gun violence, a very important issue to the Young Progressives
The Young Progressives Club was founded by senior political science major Lindsey Newton and junior political science and philosophy major Caitlyn Kilmer.
“Our main goals on campus have been getting the campus involved in recognizing social justice issues in America,” Kilmer said.
Other events that the Young Progressives have had in the past include a legalization of marijuana panel and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) information table. Additionally, the Mayor of Braddock and candidate for Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman came to speak, and the Young Progressives also cosponsored Take Back the Night with the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA).
SRU Huddle, a group created by Lindsey Newton, Nicole Loncaric, Caitlyn Kilmer, and a group of professors and members of the community brought the idea of shoes to the Young Progressives. The event was left out over night to get as much exposure as possible.
“I actually came up to take pictures for our social media as soon as they were laid out and it was a very grim atmosphere, everyone that walked by stopped and looked and they all looked solemn and I realized we were getting our message across,” Kilmer said. “When you lay it out right in front of students, I think it becomes real to them and that it’s happening and the numbers are higher than we think.”
“I hope those who saw the exhibit thought about the implications of such little gun regulation,” Newton said. “The goal is not to ban guns completely, but there needs to be more regulation, so those with ill intentions can never take another life through gun violence again. If nothing else, I hope people thought about the lives of others and how quickly that can be taken away. We need to work together so another life is not taken through the same actions we have seen time and time again.”
If you want to learn more about the Young Progressives you can follow them on Facebook (SRU Young Progessives) or on Twitter @SRUProgressives.

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