St. Louis regional universities tell applicants protesting gun violence won’t affect admissions

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ST. LOUIS - A growing number of universities are telling future students they can protest without fear. That includes Washington, St. Louis and Western Illinois Universities.

This comes ahead of the March for Our Lives walkouts expected for next month.

Many high school students across the nation have been participating in walkouts in protest to gun violence demanding better legislation and gun control.

In a Tweet, Washington University stated that it stands with future applicants taking part in peaceful protests against gun violence.

“We want to lower the flame a little bit,” said Ronné Turner, Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid, “it’s ok to be civically engaged.”

Turner said the university is aware that students may be disciplined by high school administrators for their participation but it will not hurt their chances of getting into the university.

“We are trying to understand you, we’re trying to understand what’s important to you,” said Turner.

For some students and parents at Fort Zumwalt East High School, that kind of support is a sigh of relief.

“It just shows we have a voice too and we want to stand up for what’s is right,” said junior, Shelonda Thomas.

“We should get as much support as we need to get our point across,” said freshman, Cheyenne Green

“Knowing that she won’t be penalized, I will always encourage my children for what’s right,” said Green’s father, Jermaine Green.

Turner said that the university has some new student events planned during the March for Our Lives protests but want students to know that the institution will be flexible with all those who may be participating in the rallies.

Webster University released this statement earlier this week:

"Webster University has had a long-held policy that disciplinary action taken against high school students does not mean an immediate disqualification from admissions, and that students who are disciplined for showing leadership abilities in their community should be commended, not punished for participating in civic movements. Every application to Webster University is reviewed holistically and judged on a case-by-case basis, and students who have disciplinary marks on their records are given a chance to explain the reason for those actions. If a student is punished for participating in a peaceful protest, that mark is not held against the student during the review process."

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