UNLV community comes together for candlelight vigil

Students, faculty and staff took a moment of silence for victims of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

By: Yvan Sanchez | October 2, 2017

In an act of unity, a candlelight vigil was held Monday night in the Student Union courtyard, attended by UNLV students, staff and administrators. Members of the press and members of the community were there as well.


RHA President Robert Evans led most of the emotional event, which began with a short set of words followed by a moment of silence at 7:08pm, exactly 21 hours after the start of the shooting.


The original plan included having the attendees move from the courtyard to the Free Speech Zone by the Lied Library and the Carol B. Harter Classroom Complex, but the entire vigil remained at the courtyard due to the large amount of people who showed up.

Hundreds of students, staff and faculty gathered in the Student Union courtyard Monday night in a vigil for the victims of Sunday’s shooting. Photo by: Andrew Rigney/UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press

After the moment of silence, the President of the Rebel Vets Organization told of his first candlelight vigil, also held at UNLV. It was just after the events transpired on 9/11. He served in the military soon after.


“I wore my UNLV gear everywhere to let everyone know where I was from,” he said.


A handful of grief counselors roamed through the throngs of students sitting on the floor, on tables or standing on chairs or milling about. Volunteers also went through the crowd to hand out candles and lighters to ignite them for the vigil.


Another emotional speech was given by the President of the Interfraternity Council, who also mentioned the sale of “Vegas Strong” t-shirts in which all proceeds will go to the families of the victims affected by last night’s shooting. He told the crowd that they can find out more about these t-shirts on the IFC’s Instagram, @unlvifc.


CSUN Vice President Beatrice De Belen sang a song, “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne, while others sang along with her.


CSUN President Christopher Roys also spoke.


Evans ended with a thank you and round of applause for the members of the community, students and UNLV staff/administration who showed up that night. An emotional 30 minutes, the vigil exhibited the strength of the UNLV community as well as how well the entire city has been working together, foreshadowing the amazing work that will be done to bring the Strip and the city back to its rightful glory.

The “Wall of Encouragement” pictured here in the Student Union. Photo by: Andrew Rigney/UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press

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