A number of universities across the U.S. are addressing an important question for students joining in protests for stricter gun control: Will their admission chances be affected?
Following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla, which left 17 people dead, students in middle and high schools have staged walkouts and protests to call attention to gun violence in schools. Locally, students led walkouts at more than a dozen schools across Central Texas throughout the past week.
While some school districts have announced that students participating in protests during the school day will be suspended, some higher education institutions have issued statements to reassure college applicants that a suspension in such a scenario will not affect their admission decisions.
According to Buzzfeed, this list of colleges and universities includes Ivy League schools like Yale and Brown, and public state universities such as UCLA and University of Connecticut.
At least three Texas universities have also expressed support in this manner for protesting students. Southwestern University in Georgetown posted a statement on Twitter Sunday afternoon acknowledging the walkouts staged by high school students across the country. “Southwestern University will not rescind offers of admission to those students who may be disciplined for peaceful protests,” the statement reads.
Rice University in Houston followed just minutes after with its own tweet, stating “Rice Univ. respects the right of free expression and encourages responsible citizenship among our current students and high school applicants.”
Rice Univ. respects the right of free expression and encourages responsible citizenship among our current students and high school applicants. Disciplinary sanctions for participating in peaceful protests by students will not negatively impact their admission to the university.— Rice University (@RiceUniversity) February 25, 2018
The University of Texas at Austin’s admissions office shared a statement Tuesday morning on Twitter affirming “members of the University community have the right to hold, vigoursly defend and express their ideas and opinions.” The official university Twitter account reiterated that students admitted to the university will maintain their status should they be disciplined.
The status of admitted students will not be affected by exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression https://t.co/x5kbAO10gU— UT Austin (@UTAustin) February 27, 2018
Buzzfeed’s article linked to a Google Document listing nearly two pages of colleges and universities in the U.S. who have issued statements regarding student discipline and admissions. The National Association for College Admission Counseling has also kept a similar list in a database with links to school’s online statements.