Mar 5, 2018 - Things to Do

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, these area colleges and universities have promised no punishment for students that participate in walkouts

davidson college

davidson college

Following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, students around the country have been participating in school walkouts to make their position on gun control clear.

In response, a number of school districts have threatened punishment, including the possibility of suspension.

In applying for college, these punishments are often grounds for rejection or a revoking of an acceptance. Instead, colleges and universities around the country are assuring prospective students that there will be no such push backs.

While many are choosing to forgo making a political statement, four area schools have made the promise:

Catawba College

VP of Enrollment Elaine Holden made a lengthy statement that included the following via Facebook on March 1:

“A student will not be negatively impacted in our admissions process merely because they participated in meaningful, peaceful demonstrations and activism.”

Read the full statement here.

Davidson College

In a statement made February 25 via Facebook:

Davidson College encourages students to find their voices, to express their beliefs and learn from each others’ different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Peaceful protest is not only part of expressing those beliefs, it is a cornerstone of active citizenship. Participating in such activity, even if it brings discipline from an applicant’s high school, does not jeopardize their admission to Davidson.”

Johnson C. Smith University

In a statement made to the Agenda, Takeem Dean, Dean of Students, said:

At JCSU, one of the core values we nurture in students is social consciousness. It would be at odds with our values to penalize potential students for exercising their right to peaceful protest. Admission to JCSU will be in no way jeopardized or rescinded for peacefully protesting gun violence.”

Johnson & Wales University

The university said, in a statement made on February 26, via Facebook:

Johnson & Wales University values the Wildcat Way: Pride, Courage, Character and Community. If you have applied or been admitted to JWU, be assured that any disciplinary action associated with participating in peaceful protests will not affect your admissions decision in any way.”

UNC Charlotte

In a statement, the university said:

“A key component of UNC Charlotte’s institutional mission is to promote a robust intellectual environment that values social and cultural diversity, free expression, collegiality, integrity and mutual respect. Though we require all applicants to disclose their school disciplinary records, the purpose of our review of those records is to ensure the safety of the university community, not to penalize civic engagement. Participating in peaceful protests organized to support policies and practices intended to prevent mass shootings will not negatively impact any admissions decision. We support and applaud all of our current and prospective students in their efforts to encourage productive dialogue and debate about important social and political issues.”

Winthrop University

The university speaks to building engaged citizens in its February 27 statement. Via Facebook:

Anyone familiar with #Winthrop knows how deeply we are committed to preparing our students to be engaged citizens. We have always encouraged our students to participate in the public discourse.

And we feel the same way about prospective students. Winthrop never has, and never will, consider as part of the admissions process that individuals have exercised their constitutional rights by participating in peaceful and lawful protests.”

They follow in the steps of larger schools around the state, including Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill.

To see a full list of the 250+ colleges and universities promising no impact on admission decisions, head to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Appalachian State University

Regarding disciplinary action, the university says the following in its FAQ section:

It is important to note that Appalachian values civic engagement and will not reject the applications of students solely on the basis of disciplinary action resulting from peacefully exercising their rights under the First Amendment.”

Read the full statement here.

Elon University

In a statement made February 26, Greg Zaiser, Vice President for Enrollment, said:

In response to the recent tragic events in Parkland, Florida, a number of peaceful protests are being planned by high school students across the country. Elon University encourages civic engagement and also supports a safe academic environment for all students. Prospective students who are penalized by their schools for participating in peaceful protests will not be adversely impacted in their Elon application process.”

Duke University

A statement at the top of the admissions website reads:

Duke has always valued active and responsible engagement in civic life among its students and applicants. We will always consider all applicants fully and individually, and every part of the application, including disciplinary sanctions, in the unique context of the applicants themselves and the values of the institution we represent, which include civic and personal responsibility. An applicant’s participation in peaceful protests has never been a reason for us to deny or rescind an offer of admission.”

Guilford College

A statement made February 25 reads:

“The change you seek aligns with the values we hold at our core: justice, stewardship, community, diversity, equality, excellence and integrity. You have sparked a movement across this country, uniting students from all regions, backgrounds and beliefs with two words — Never Again.

So students, wherever you are, do what you must to carry forth your message in a manner that respects the lives of the 17 innocents lost to this tragedy and reflects the peace you seek. If you are applying for admission to Guilford College, regardless of how this is presented in your school record, it will be understood by us as an indicator that you have chosen the path of justice, of community, of excellence, of stewardship, of diversity, of equality and of integrity.

That you have become part of the Guilford LOVE — Living Our Values Everywhere — movement, even before enrolling, will be positively received in our admission process.”

Read the full statement here.

N.C. A&T State University

The Office of Enrollment Management stated:

“While students seeking admission to North Carolina A&T must report school suspensions as part of the application process, we take into account relevant context for any such suspension. Participation in peaceful, non-violent protest would not harm a candidate’s chances for admission.”

Read the full statement here.

N.C. State University

The university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions said the following on February 26:

NC State requires both applicants and admitted students to honestly disclose school discipline. We review each school disciplinary record on a case by case basis and within context.

Our interest in school discipline is to try and ensure a safe NC State community that values academic integrity. Peaceful protests by high school students who seek to find solutions to the tragedy of school shootings will not have an impact on their admission decision. NC State students, faculty and staff work every day to solve problems in a respectful environment. We merge creative ideas with purposeful action. We value, stand by and encourage students who try to make a positive impact on the world and solve problems.”

UNC-Chapel Hill

Steve Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, said on February 27:

The University welcomes peaceful, principled, and purposeful action to improve the lives of others and society as a whole. The UNC System requires that candidates for admission report any suspensions. When we receive such reports, we don’t rush to judgment but instead take the whole of the circumstances into account. Although this practice requires that we consider each suspension individually, participation in non-violent civil protest and peaceful expression does not harm a candidate’s chances with UNC-Chapel Hill.”

Wake Forest University

President Nathan O. Hatch released a lengthy statement on February 24 that included the following:

Wake Forest University joins dozens of colleges and universities in assuring all those applicants who choose to participate in peaceful protest in response to the tragic events that transpired in Parkland, Florida. Your actions will have no adverse effect on your application to our University. Further, we applaud your courage and dedication in trying to seek a civil dialogue aimed at bringing a reasonable solution to one of our nation’s most divisive issues.”

Read the entire statement here.


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