Stand Strong for Vegas

SUU students, faculty and alumni came together to support all those who were affected by the Las Vegas massacre earlier this week.

Before the vigil began, the Business Quad filled with concerned citizens and students. Tea candles were passed out for individuals to hold the duration of the vigil. Students and community members helped each other light their candles.

Johnny Maclean, co-chair of the Care and Support Team, commenced the vigil.

“We organized this vigil to remember thoses who died in Las Vegas on Sunday night,” Maclean said, “including at least one person from the Cedar City community. And to recognize the hundreds of people that are injured including SUU students and friends.”

Maclean then lead the audience to join him in a moment of silence and reflection

“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” Maclean said. “Tonight let’s embrace each other as members of this community and let’s stand strong for Vegas and for our loved ones there. And as we stand strong from yet another mass shooting, let’s suspend the cursing and let us simply light a candle.”

After Maclean concluded his speech, Krystal McCoy, assistant professor of music, had her students sing a melody of songs for the occasion. The songs performed were, “American the Beautiful,” and “Stand by Me.” The choir invited the audience to join them in singing.

After the musical number, Vice President of Alumni and Community Relations, Mindy Benson, spoke to the audience.

“Tragedy can either serve to divide us or to further united us,” she said. “And here at SUU and in Cedar City as we have always we choose to come together. Tonight, we come together as a T-bird family.”

Curtis Hill, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, closed the vigil by giving counsel on how to deal with the emotions and grief that not only face the students but also the community. His tips included being able to talk about what happened, honoring feelings and taking care of oneself. He wanted the audience to recognize that, “grief is a very long process and that we need to give ourselves time to recover.”

If you or somebody you know, was affected by this tragedy invited them to visit CAPS counseling office. It is located on 136 W. University Blvd. (Center Street.)

Story By
Cassidy Harmon

Photo By
Mitchell Quartz