KSU shows support for Virginia Tech with afternoon vigil

Tim Magaw

A woman approached Daniel Kwasny, a Virginia Tech student, in Risman Plaza this afternoon with tears in her eyes. She expressed her deep concern and condolences to Kwasny. She also offered a hug.

Kwasny, a Portage County native, is a fourth-year business information technology major at Virginia Tech.

“It’s real, but it’s still in the shock phase,” Kwasny said about Monday’s shooting that left 32 dead.

Lines of mourning students, faculty members and community members stretched across Risman Plaza as they waited to sign one of the banners or scrapbooks being sent to Virginia Tech. Many shielded their candles from the wind while others continued to relight them if the gusts extinguished the flames.

During the vigil, Kent State President Lester Lefton addressed the university community. As he spoke, a Virginia Tech banner hung in the background, waving in the wind.

Lefton said many people in the Kent State community know the “overwhelming shock, disbelief and grief” Virginia Tech is experiencing because of the community’s own experiences with the May 4, 1970 shootings.

“Although nothing will ever look or feel the same to those who were living, working and studying on the Virginia Tech campus four days ago &mdash and nothing can bring back the precious and promise-filled lives that were lost &mdash Kent State is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and its capacity to create great good from great pain,” Lefton said to the hundreds gathered in the plaza.

Erinn Einhauser, a senior fashion merchandising major, said she attended the vigil to show her support for the Virginia Tech community.

“It’s a really serene feeling,” Einhauser said about the large gathering in the plaza. “It’s really good to see all these people here.”

Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].