UP won't penalize prospective students for protesting

By Rachel Ramirez | March 28, 2018 4:40pm
March for Our Lives in Portland, Oregon. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

High school students across the country are facing disciplinary actions such as suspension for speaking out against gun violence. Most recently, students across the nation walked out and marched for stricter gun laws

While in the past having a suspension or expulsion on their record might have hurt a student’s chances for getting into college, the University of Portland is among many colleges and universities who are standing with student activists, stating that if they get suspended for protesting, the suspension will not impact their admission. 

UP is not named on the official list of universities responding to the outcry, but on March 7, the admissions website released a statement that said, “As a part of the admission process, we consider each application individually and look for those who reflect this type of social and personal responsibility. Typically, an applicant's participation in a peaceful protest is not cause to deny admission to the University.”

The statement was written collaboratively by the Provost’s Office, the Office of Admissions and UP Marketing. According to Dean of Admissions Jason McDonald, there was no opposition to the statement. 

“As long as students were protesting in a peaceful manner, then it would be fine,” McDonald said. “We would simply just follow up with the school, get information and talk to the student.”

Since the shooting at her high school in Parkland, Florida, survivor Emma Gonzalez have stood out in various rallies and protests to advocate for the victims of several mass shootings.

“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” Gonzalez said in her rally speech a few days after the shooting on Feb. 14. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because we are going to be the last mass shooting.” 

In the last decade, about 17 elementary, middle and high schools have gone through violent incidents such as shootings and stabbings — the most recent one in Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

(Courtesy of CNN list of tragic incidents going back to 1927)

“It is important that students have the right to share their views and opinions as long as it’s done in a peaceful manner,” McDonald said. “We support that in a Catholic university.”