UCA students showed support for France by meeting at the W. C. Ferguson Chapel on the night of Nov. 13 to paint signs in memory of those who lost their lives in the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, France earlier that day.
As of today, there are 129 dead and about 352 wounded according to NBC News.
Junior John Gilbreath was one of 15 students who gathered to paint flyers that show a symbol of the Eiffel Tower as part of a peace sign.
“I remember being a young boy and France, after 9/11, posting up signs of peace all over [the]country with the words ‘We are all American’ and when I saw this idea, I knew that I wanted to help show my support for France,” Gilbreath said.
This event was publicized on Yik Yak, a social media app. Earlier in the semester, this app was used to convey threats against the school, but in this case it helped bring students together. Students exchanged ideas through the app and came up with the plan to reach out in an artistic way and show their support for France.
Freshman Conner Swaffar was the originator of the event. Event participants hope to create a flyer for each victim of the attacks.
The flyers were originally hung on the side of the W.C. Ferguson Chapel until a UCAPD officer approached the group and explained that the students were not allowed to put the flyers on the building. Participants then moved the flyers to bulletin boards on campus and in residence halls.
“The purpose is to show our support in their time of need. Particularly to all the French students on campus who might have been affected by the attacks,” Gilbreath said.
Freshman Terrence Davis helped transfer the signs from the chapel to approved areas. He expressed that he is devastated by the murderous event and offered a solution.
“Currently, people are cautious and afraid of what might happen next,” Davis said, “but we need to stay united and support France.”
A vigil for victims of the Paris attacks is scheduled for Sunday at 8 p.m. at the W. C. Ferguson Chapel.