Campus Community Hosts Vigil to Reflect on World Tragedies

Kayla Ebner | Managing Editor

We shall overcome.

That was the theme of today’s vigil held in memory of the victims of the recent natural disasters and the mass shooting that occurred at a Las Vegas hotel on the night of Sunday, Oct. 1.

Members of the Roger Williams University community gathered to reflect on these tragedies and held a moment of silence in memory of the countless lives that were lost, as well as for all those who have been affected.

Reverend Nancy Soukup led the Vigil and spoke about the effects these tragedies have on our own campus.

“When one part is devastated by such events as we have witnessed, we too share in that grief,” Soukup said. “Today… we stop for a very brief time to remember that we are one with each other, to hear wisdom, to share our own voices, and to lift up hope.”

Vice President of Student Life John King also spoke, and began by thanking the law enforcement officers and first responders to these tragedies. He also encouraged the group to open up to one another and be there for each other in troubling times like these.

“Share how you are truly feeling, what you’re concerned about, your ideas, your thoughts. Be ready to stop and listen when you ask that same question,” King said.

President Donald Farish spoke on the recent tragedies and also emphasized the importance of sticking together and supporting one another.

“It’s easy to feel overwhelmed,” Farish said. “Gathering together in this way reminds us that we’re part of something more.”

Chief Diversity Officer Ame Lambert shared her own experiences with tropical storm Allison from when she lived in Houston, Texas.

“As I see the news stories, I think about folks for whom home was sanctuary and how they lost that. It’s a reminder to me to not take anything for granted,” she said.

Reverand Soukup led the group in a responsive reading, the song “We Shall Overcome,” then followed with a moment of silence.

RWU Senior and Student Senate President Jacob Brostuen announced that this year’s Winter Illuminations donations will go toward efforts to help people affected by the hurricanes. Anyone who is interested in helping is encouraged to contact the Student Senate.