UI sorority holds vigil for victims of Virginia Tech shootings

Chad Warner, junior in LAS, lights his candle at the candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings in front of Foellinger Auditorium on Monday night. The candlelight vigil was sponsored by Chi Omega Sorority. Beck Diefenbach

Chad Warner, junior in LAS, lights his candle at the candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings in front of Foellinger Auditorium on Monday night. The candlelight vigil was sponsored by Chi Omega Sorority. Beck Diefenbach

By Michael Logli

In memoriam of the shooting at Virginia Tech yesterday morning, the Chi Omega sorority held a candlelight vigil in front of Foellinger Auditorium last night. The two organizers, senior in AHS Lisa Broadhurst and junior in ACES Alissa Klein, lit 33 candles for the victims. One of the candles, surrounded by flowers, was meant to remember the shooter.

“I just felt that something should be done to raise awareness of this tragic event,” Broadhurst said.

Klein said she sent e-mails to local radio stations, television stations and other sororities to try to encourage people to come and remember the victims.

“I was shocked (about the shooting),” Klein said. “I wouldn’t know what our university would do. I don’t know what motive (the shooter) had, but it could happen anywhere.”

The Chi Omega sisters passed out candles to the over 50 people in attendance and encouraged anyone to speak about their feelings concerning the shooting. Many attendees expressed shock over the incident.

“The fact that a person would indiscriminately kill 30 something people, it’s indescribable,” said Gerald Charleston, graduate student. “It was really surprising.”

Charleston said he believes the tragedy will only increase the amount of tension students feel towards each other on campus.

“It’ll only break bridges instead of building them,” Charleston said.

Jill Belsley, sophomore in Communications, spoke to the crowd about how she was affected by the shooting. She also said she sympathized with the victims and their families.

“Each one of those students woke up this morning and did not think that this would be their last day,” Belsley said. “We should just love and reach out to each other.”

Chi Omega also collected donations at the vigil, which they plan to send to Virginia Tech and to the affected families.

They hope to work with the deans of students to help the families in any way possible.

Click to read about the event that inspired the vigil.

Click to read Opinions editor Andrew Mason’s column about the shootings at Virginia Tech.