By: Lydia Rogers ~Campus News Editor~
The Xavier community took a moment to acknowledge the many social injustices that have been taking place across the country and around the world. The Center for Interfaith Community Engagement invited students, faculty and staff to the Circle of Peace vigil on March 29.
The event served as a symbol of solidarity for those who have suffered from discrimination and injustice and offered Xavier students an opportunity to come together and show their support.
“I think this has just been a very difficult year,” Director of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement Rabbi Abie Ingber said. “From the tragic killing of the three Muslim students at UNC, the racist rants on the bus at the University of Oklahoma, the Ferguson case, in Staten Island, in Cleveland, the Boko Haram abduction of young Nigerian women, just the world seems to be on the verge of madness, some perhaps more pessimistic (people) would say we have already entered into madness.”
The event was originally intended to be held on the Academic Mall between the McDonald Library and Hinkle Hall, but inclement weather caused the event to be moved indoors to the atrium of Gallagher Student Center (GSC).
All the lights in GSC were dimmed as students, faculty and staff filled the atrium for the ceremony. The vigil began with an introduction by Ingber, and was followed by President, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J. as the keynote speaker.
This was followed by a candlelit portion of the vigil, headed by Graham. Students took turns lighting each other’s candles and then came together in song for “Dona Nobis Pacem.”
“I think that it is arguably true that all hardships become light er if they are carried in unison,” Ingber said. “To bring our Xavier community together and to say, ‘we are all impacted not by exactly the same event in exactly the same way.’”
“But we are all touched, we are all hurt and we have to commit ourselves to create a world starting at our doorstep here at Xavier and getting broader into the world community a world of peace,” he said.
The event was closed with remarks from Student Government Association Legislative Vice President-Elect Josh Devinceno, and the group sang “We Are Called.”
Ultimately, students had the chance to make deeper connections with themselves and others right here on campus.
“Although we can look at instances like Ferguson and say racial tension only exists there in St. Louis, that’s false,” senior Circle of Peace volunteer Emily Spring said. “It’s a way to show that these things are happening right here at Xavier University and exist in Cincinnati, and as a Jesuit university it’s important that we talk about that and come together and embody that solidarity that our Jesuit values have taught us.”