Lehigh students gathered to honor those affected by the Thousand Oaks, California, shooting on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, on the UC Front Lawn. The vigil was organized by the Student Political Action Coalition to honor the 12 people killed and 18 injured during the shooting. (Kate Morrell/B&W Staff)

Lehigh community holds vigil for Thousand Oaks shooting

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On Nov. 8, the Lehigh community came together to honor the lives of those affected by the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill on Nov. 7 in Thousand Oaks, California.

The candlelight vigil was held at 5 p.m at the UC flagpole to pray for the 12 people killed and 18 injured. Dozens of students throughout campus attended the vigil organized by the Student Political Action Coalition.

“We know that not only were members of the Lehigh community were affected, by it but every person that every person in SPAC is related to it somehow,” said Chole Sider ’21 a member of SPAC who helped organize the event. “This was the first time we as college students saw the impact at our level.”

Under the dark somber shadows of the University Center, Lehigh students who were directly impacted by the event took turns sharing their thoughts with the crowd. Among the speakers were Californians Elizabeth Anderson, ’19, and Scott Price, ’20.

Anderson told students of her dear friend, Dylan McNey, who was at Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday, Nov. 7 during the time of the shooting. While McNey survived, his two friends were among the 12 killed. Anderson also spoke of McNey’s heroism that has shown not once, but twice — he is also a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

“The city of Thousand Oaks is rallying in support of the community as a whole and I can’t help but feel helpless being so far away from all my friends, my neighbors, my classmates and the people that have made Thousand Oaks my home,” Anderson said.

At the conclusion of the vigil, Anderson, Price and SPAC provided members of the Lehigh community with paper and pens to write letters to be mailed to Thousand Oaks.

Rabbi Steve Nathan also addressed students for the second in the last several weeks. He offered words of comfort at the candlelight vigil held on Oct. 29 to honor those who lost their lives in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

In order to make legislative change, Sider said change must first come from small communities and actions.

“We have candles and cups and we aren’t going to throw them out because we know we are going to use them,” Sider said.

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