Freshman Melissa Starkey said she was in shock and disbelief when she heard from another student about the terrorist attacks Tuesday.
?It?s scary that something like this could happen to us,? Starkey said. ?It doesn?t make you feel safe. It makes you feel paranoid.?
Students with similar emotions of pain and disbelief gathered Tuesday night to grieve at the Martin Luther King Plaza for those who died in the attack on America.
Students showed signs of grief and concern as their candles burned and they listened to President Judy Genshaft and other students speak out for those that have suffered.
?Our hearts and thoughts extend to those who have lost their lives,? Genshaft said. ?The USF seal says truth and wisdom. It?s our responsibility to promote truth and wisdom,? she said.
Mike Griffin, student body president, spoke at the vigil to give students a message of strength.
?My message to express to fellow bulls is to stay together,? Griffin said. ?When you go to classes tomorrow, reach out to other students.?
?Although nobody knows who is responsible for the terrorist attack, we do know that nobody on this campus had anything to do with it,? he said.
?We need to honor, respect and love the diversity on this campus,? Griffin said.
?Here at USF, no matter where you are from, or what religion you are, we are one USF.?
Anthony Brooks, chairman for the Coalition of Progressive Students, decided to have the vigil at MLK Plaza, after speaking with Phyllis P. Marshall Center administrators. The vigil was planned in place of an earlier scheduled kickoff event to recruit new members for the Coalition of Progressive Students.
Brooks said he didn?t think today was an appropriate time to hold the event after Tuesday?s tragedy.
?We need to support each other as a campus community,? Brooks said. ?I?m glad to see President Genshaft came to support this student movement.?
Brooks said he is glad to see that more students than expected came out to show their support. With campus being closed, the only way to inform people was by e-mail and listservs he said.
Sara Newton, co-chairwoman for the Coalition of Progressive Students, wore a black piece of cloth on her arm to express her feelings. Newton said black is a symbol of mourning, and when it is tied around your arm, it is also a symbol to donate blood.
?Right now, those are the only two things we can really do as students,? Newton said.
?I encourage people to wear the pieces of cloth until the situation is resolved.?
There will be another campuswide vigil tonight at 6:00 p.m. at the MLK Plaza.
Contact Grace Agostinat firstname.lastname@example.org