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Candlelight vigil honors Parkland victims

  • About 100 people gathered at the Cook Carillon Tower for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.
  • About 100 students, faculty and staff members attended a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.
  • Jonathan Bowman, president of Student Senate
  • About 100 students, faculty and staff members attended a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.
  • About 100 students, faculty and staff members attended a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.

Posted on February 21, 2018

Jonathan Bowman, president of Student Senate, told a crowd of about 100 students, faculty and staff members that it's important to show support for the victims and families of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting. 

The group gathered at the Cook Carillon Tower on the Allendale Campus February 21 to take part in a candlelight vigil to honor the victims. During the vigil, organized by Student Senate, Bowman said while Grand Valley is a safe place, the shooting in Florida still hit close to home.

"It wasn't that long ago that many of us were in high school," said Bowman. "It's important that we come together and be united during times of difficulty to do what we can for victims and to support one another."

Provost Maria Cimitile said as a community of learners, students are poised for moments like this. "There is nothing more powerful than education," she said. "You can use the power of education to act and to think about the world you want to create."

Steve Glass, acting dean of students, said technology has made the world smaller. "We are not isolated from the news or from incidents that happen far away. It impacts us," Glass said. "It's great to see students taking action to do something. I'm grateful for their leadership."

Candles were lit during the ceremony and a moment of silence was held to remember the victims and their families.

Before and after the vigil, students sold popcorn and hot chocolate with proceeds going to the National Compassion Fund, which distributes 100 percent of donations to support the victims and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.