Students Hold Candlelight Vigil for Japan.

via The Florida Tech Crimson
by Drew Lacy

Nearly 50 students gathered at the Pantherium for a candlelight vigil honoring the victims of the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.

The event, held March 16 at 7 p.m., was sponsored by the International Student Service Organization and Student Government and featured several speakers from multiple organizations across campus.

Announcements for the event came soon after news of the tragedy spread throughout the student body. When ISSO president Shweta Patil heard of the disaster, she said that organizing the candlelight vigil was a clear “first step.”

Satoki Nakamura, one of the seven Japanese students on campus, attended the vigil.
Nakamura’s family was not in an area directly affected by the earthquake, but communication has been difficult due to blackouts throughout the nation.

“I actually had a friend who goes to a university there in Sendai, one of the places that were actually affected,” Nakamura said. “He was actually missing for a couple days, because people couldn’t get ahold of him.”

He said he was impressed by the level of support offered to him on campus.

“I was actually really surprised about the number that actually came up to me,” Nakamura said. “I felt very encouraged and very supportive about what Florida Tech has done personally to me and to the whole community for Japanese people.”

The theme of community was one brought up throughout the ceremony.

“Because Florida Tech is a campus of teachers and learners, it is also a community of family,” said Randy Alford, vice president of student affairs, during the speech. “When one of us hurts, we all hurt.”

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