Las Vegas Tragedy Reverberating At UNR

Oct 4, 2017

Students embrace after a vigil held on UNR's campus for the victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Credit Jacob Solis

Hundreds of students gathered at the University of Nevada, Reno last night for a vigil. It was held in honor of those hurt or killed in Las Vegas Sunday, and our reporter Jacob Solis has the story.

A woman signs a banner that UNR's student government plans to present to UNLV Thursday.
Credit Jacob Solis

The night started with music performed by students, and its melodies set the tone for an hour filled with grief, sadness, and hope.

About one-fifth of UNR’s students come from Southern Nevada, which means the campus community has been hit particularly hard.

The chilly weather did little to stop hundreds of students from turning up. In fact, so many people came that organizers ran out of candles to hand out, so people took out their phones and turned on their flashlights.

To get a sense of what people were feeling, we spoke to several attendees:

“I’m here because someone I knew from school was killed. His name was Quentin Robbins, he was a great kid,” said student Rochelle Cole. “When we figured out, around 3-4 o’clock in the morning, that he had died, it was a weird feeling like I couldn’t move. I wasn’t even that close to him, but it’s still someone that I knew, someone that I had classes with, someone that I had conversations with. When things like this happen, it’s tragic and it’s sad, but when it happens to someone you know, and a bunch of people you know, actually, it feels different. It hurts a lot more.”

“Even in classes, it’s really hard to just, to kind of know everyone’s feeling the exact same way, and not having an outlet for it,” explained UNR student Sebastien Atienza. “So this was a really awesome outlet and I think the students really appreciated the ability to come here and to grieve. And I think that’s the biggest thing that, people need time to grieve. Love wins, and we’re not gonna let hate get the best of this campus, and I know that the people here and the students are ready for that.”

“We all need to remember that we are strong,” said Reverend Denise Cordova. "Even though it feels like a knot in our stomach, whenever something like this happens, or we’ve lost loved ones from hatred or violence, but we really are stronger. We’re stronger than any of the violence or hatred that could ever come our way.”

Our reporter Jacob Solis is a senior at the Reynolds School of Journalism.