Kwantlen Polytechnic University Student Association (KSA) held a candlelight vigil at the Surrey campus Thursday to show support for those impacted by the recent violence in the U.S. directed at the LGBTQ community.
Nearly 100 students, faculty and people from the community joined members of the KSA and representatives from Pride Kwantlen to voice their concerns and to discuss the importance of healing and standing up against violence.
Participants also lit candles and laid flowers in memory of those who were slain in the targeted attack at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, which killed 49 people and injured 52.
The gunman was shot dead by police.
“We felt it was important for the KSA to support our members and our community in this difficult time,” said Natasha Lopes, vice-president of Student Life. “Our community is hurting over this and we wanted to provide a place to come together and heal.”
Pride Kwantlen representative Ryot Jey has been working within his community to help them heal and understand what has happened.
“One person doesn’t represent a group. To heal we need to understand our differences,” he said.
“Community shouldn’t single out one group because of the actions of an individual. This was not a religious attack, it was an attack based in hate of a person’s identity.”
The KSA and Pride Kwantlen also stressed that resources for those needing to talk were available, creating a safe place for students and members of the community to speak out during this difficult time.