International travesties spark silent march

It was the night Paris stood still as the rest of the world looked on in stunned silence, a silence that will echo across USF’s Tampa campus Monday evening. 

Suicide bombers in Paris killed 129 people Friday and another set of ISIL bombers attacked Beirut on Thursday and killed 43, according to the New York Times. These tragedies inspired people across the globe to come together, and the impact was not lost on Jeremy Lomax.

“I was reading about Paris since 6 (p.m.), when it started, (and) until 11, when all of the information was out,” Lomax, a senior majoring in biology, said. “All the while, people were posting on their Instagrams about their nights, and I was just like, ‘This is ridiculous.’

“We are so secluded and so wrapped up in ourselves — and egotistical. There needs to be a way for us to let everyone know that we just need to stop, listen and feel the pain that other people are experiencing.”

Lomax decided to create an event in remembrance of the lives lost across the globe — not only in Paris and Beirut, but also in other recent events, such as the earthquake off the shore of Chile. The resulting tsunami’s waves killed 12 people, according to the Associated Press.

Today at 5 p.m., Lomax will lead a silent march from Cooper Hall to the Student Memorial. Participants are encouraged to wear white and use the flashlight on their phones to symbolize candlelight.

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Danielle McDonald worked with Lomax and other concerned student leaders from organizations around the campus. McDonald said the university has reached out to students currently studying abroad in Paris to ensure their safety.

“Even though these tragedies may not seem to directly affect us, it is still our duty as global citizens to do what we can,” Lomax said in an email to leaders of various on-campus organizations.

After the march ends at the Student Memorial, Lomax said he plans to give a short speech about why he believes students should care about what’s happening on a global scale. He said he hopes for this to be a campus-wide event for people to participate and take a moment to remember the victims of international travesties.

“Now is not the time for opinion or argument, be it foreign or domestic,” Lomax said. “Rather, (it is) a time to stand together as Bulls in respect and silence. As recently stated by our system’s president, USF is a flagship university that stands at the forefront of diversity and continually fosters a sense of community across numerous nationalities.”