FAU honors Stoneman Douglas shooting victims with vigil

Crystal Miller, a Columbine shooting survivor, spoke at the event.


Boca governor Der’Resha Bastien speaks to the audience at the Parkland shooting vigil in the Student Union lobby. Kevin Carver | Contributing Photographer

Amber Kelley, Contributing Writer

The voices of FAU faculty and administration echoed words of support Monday for the 17 lives lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting.


Held in the Boca Student Union, the event was organized by Student Activities and Involvement. Students and faculty members wrote cards and decorated lantern bags as part of an FAU memorial that stands in the union’s lobby.


Faculty members expressed their disbelief of the tragedy that happened so close to home.


Corey King, Student Affairs vice president, commented on the mixed emotions of sorrow, frustration, and anger following the shooting.


“Sometimes, you get to the point where you say enough is enough,” King said. “And I would dare to say that many of us in this room and if not all of us are feeling that in some way.”


King described the vigil as an opportunity to come together as a community and to say that “we remember, we will never forget, and we will rise.”


Students decorate lanterns and make cards for the families affected by the Parkland shooting. Kevin Carver | Contributing Photographer

Crystal Miller, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, reminded the crowd that something like this can happen anywhere, at any given moment. Nineteen years ago, she was in the center of the Colorado massacre, the library.


“It [Parkland] looked so much like Columbine with students running out with their hands raised in the air,” Miller said.


She visited the Stoneman Douglas memorial in Parkland and said it was similar to Columbine’s memorial.


“I was struck by the number of crosses; 17 crosses that represent 17 beautiful lives, 17 stories, 17 dreams and hopes for the future, and 17 legacies that will continue on as we live.”  


Student Government Governor Der’Resha Bastien expressed her grief and support for the victims’ families.


“Our student body gathers today to show support for Stoneman Douglas High School,” Bastien said. “We are here to stand strong for those that were affected.”


Bastien added FAU is reinforcing its mental health and safety programs. She urged the audience not to allow this to be another “mass shooting in our archives.”    

The Boca Student Union lobby was filled with students and staff to listen to FAU leaders speak about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting. Kevin Carver | Contributing Photographer


If you have been affected by this tragedy, visit FAU’s Counseling and Psychological Services located on the Breezeway’s second floor above the food court. Or if you are feeling distressed and need someone to talk to, call the CAPS Crisis Line at 561-297-3540.


Amber Kelley is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].