The student lie-in orchestrated by Alison St. Onge will take place today, though the time and venue have changed.
The lie-in was originally scheduled to happen in front of the Drillfield memorial at noon, immediately following the university commemoration. It will now be held at 2 p.m., between the agriculture quad and Davidson hall.
St. Onge said the protest is not being done in affiliation with ProtestEasyGuns.com; She said that she is doing this under her own will, without outside help.
ProtestEasyGuns.com is a Web site representing those in favor of strengthening laws requiring background checks when selling firearms.
St. Onge added that she feels it would be wrong to push a gun-control protest on such an emotional day.
"This isn't about guns," St. Onge said. "It is in other places, but not here. My main goal is to remember the people we lost. There are always people saying it's put on by ProtestEasyGuns, but it's not, it's done by me. I'll be holding a banner that says 'We are Virginia Tech,' not one that says 'ProtestEasyGuns.'"
The university had initially said the event was against policy, as St. Onge had not filed for a permit. Tech does not allow groups without a permit to protest.
After a series of collaborative talks, it was decided that St. Onge would be granted a permit to conduct her lie-in, though the new location would differ from the original.
St. Onge, a senior environmental science major, has been organizing the lie-in for several months in an attempt to memorialize her friend Nicole White, a student injured in last April's shooting.
Jay Poole, director for the University's Office of Recovery and Support, said that upon reading news articles about the protest, he called the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to sort things out.
"Once you hear all the details, you realize that this is something that there is no story," Poole said. "It was a mountain out of a molehill."
Poole added that there is no quarrel between the university and the students, but rather just one student trying to remember a friend in a special way. Keeping the best interests of the university and the student in mind, the lie-in was altered slightly.
"It's very personal for everybody, and each student and each faculty member and each staffer is going to feel different about tomorrow," Poole said. "It goes back to the fact that this is a student-led activity. It's perfectly appropriate."
St. Onge agreed that after meeting with the university on Friday, both sides were able to reach a compromise.
"I don't know how this got blown out of proportion that I was at war with the university, but they wanted us to be at a place that was convenient but not pushing into the ceremony," St. Onge said.
The SGA had previously passed legislation requesting students and groups refrain from protesting on April 16. Both Alyson Boyce and Michael Stover, representatives from the Senate and House, respectively, expressed that if the university was OK with the lie-in, then they were as well.
"I think it is a good gesture that it's not going to be in the middle of the day," Boyce said. "It's definitely good that they are compromising. The SGA has already expressed support in the university. That's about as good as it's going to get."
Stover agreed, adding that their most preferred action is not realistic.
"Idealistically, our goal is to make it a day where everyone pays their respects," Stover said. "That is unpractical. For the ceremony themselves to be left peaceful, and for it to be moved later in the day in between ceremonies, I think is a good compromise compared to what we were expecting."