UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

Students rally in Alumni Plaza for gun reform

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On the familiar walk between the Bayou Building and the Student Services and Classroom Building April 5, travelers were met with an unfamiliar gathering at UHCL. Located in Alumni Plaza, a #Enough rally was being held. The day began with organizers and supporters in orange shirts labeled “#Enough” busy setting up tables and creating signs for the rally.

Tables
Various tables and signs from the #Enough rally. Photo by The Signal reporter Jonathan Taylor

Music was ringing in the plaza and sounds of discussion could be heard around the tables. The wind was relentless to the organizers, blowing signs and moving tables, but they remained true to their cause and continued their work.

The rally was organized by Erica Solis, social work major, who said that Feb. 14, the day that Nikolas Cruz entered Majory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people, she was filled with guilt that she had her three children alive and breathing while families were mourning the loss of theirs.

“I NEEDED to do something!” Solis said. “I didn’t know how, but I knew I had to act. I no longer wanted to be a ‘keep scrolling’ type of individual.”

Many individuals took to the lectern to speak their concerns and feelings by words, music and poetry. As each person started, their voices started low against the howling wind, and by the end roared enough to echo off the walls of the buildings.

“You get this anxiety to get up here and talk about issues like this because you’re going to know that people are not going to like you because you have certain opinions,” said Jocelyn Ibarra, social work major, during her speech.

The message that the #Enough rally wanted to get across was that this was a rally protesting against the lax gun laws the country currently has. Solis said it was also to show that anyone can initiate change. One does not have to be attached to a student organization, one can be a “non-traditional” college student and still bring about change.

“It doesn’t matter if your voice is shaky, as long as you use if for those who can’t,” Solis said

Erica Solis speaking
Erica Solis speaking at the #Enough rally. Photo by The Signal reporter Jonathan Taylor

 

As more speakers took their turn at the lectern, the crowd continued to ebb and grow as both faculty and students stopped by on their commute between buildings to listen to the messages from the speakers. Many individuals interacted with the multiple tables present, learning about different UHCL organizations, how to get involved to help spread change, and even receive help with registering to vote.

Every speaker also spoke out about how this is a touchy subject and the cause of much debate. All the organizers agreed that #Enough “is not coming for anyone’s guns,” just to improve the gun laws so children can be safe in school.

UHCL police were on hand to ensure the safety of all persons present.

Solis closed out the rally on the stage by, sending thanks to everyone who took the time to come out and show support and thanked the presenters for their courage in sharing their stories and experiences.

“I believe in hope; I believe in progress, and I believe in compassion,” Solis said to close out the #Enough rally.  “All it takes is one; one individual, one story to change someone’s heart, someone’s mind, one experience, just one.”

The #Enough rally was an all-day event that included sign making in the morning, the rally in the afternoon and a panel discussion in the evening.