Students, faculty and staff gathered Wednesday afternoon to hold a PeaceGiving vigil, in light of the tragic events that took place recently in France, Lebanon and other corners of the world.
“The work of making the world a better, safer place begins right here, on our campus,” said President Mildred García in an earlier message sent campuswide.
As the crowd gathered quietly, holding candles, speakers offered words of peace and affirmed that Cal State Fullerton would continue to honor its diverse communities, expand understanding, and reach out to one another.
“Although this is a difficult time, I am reminded of how connected we are as a Titan family,” said García. “We are a worldwide family, and it is my hope that you all feel the warmth of our embrace. This is a time to come together and be with one another.”
A group of French international students stood solemnly near the front of the crowd.
“It is hard to be away from our country when something like this happens,” said Ombeline Aramnd, a communications student. “But people here have been very supportive and that helps.”
As the sun set, Michelle Luster, an instructor in the American Language Program, led the crowd in singing the chorus of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.”
Murtadha Khakoo, professor of physics and the former faculty adviser to the Muslim Student Union addressed the crowd, saying, “I want to say that the acts committed in Paris … this is not Islam. I hope we are all strong and pray for those who were lost and those who lost loved ones.”
“In these difficult times, I thank all of you for being here,” said Berenecea Johnson Eanes, vice president for student affairs. “I know how much being here means to you, and I want you to know that diversity is honored here and it is safe for you to be here.”
Tonantzin Oseguera, dean of students, closed the ceremony by simply stating, “Be good to one another.”