Orlando shooting victims remembered by campus vigil

The event of June 12,  where 49 lives were taken by a senseless act of violence at the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, has not been forgotten by students at Sonoma State University. 

Nearly three months later, students gathered in the Seawolf Plaza for ‘Impulse to Dance: Resistance, Existence, and Heart’ on Aug. 24. This event, put on by The Hub, brought together students in order to honor those lives that were taken.

The event began when Mark Fabionar, director for The Hub, asked the small crowd of students to close their eyes and breathe, in order to develop a state of presence within themselves. Fabionar asked students to remember those who have impacted them, those they have lost and to truly be in the moment throughout the event.

Each person standing in the audience held their own personal reasons for showing up. Senior Katrina Cahill shared her motivation behind attending. 

“I just feel as a young adult it’s important to recognize what’s happening to other young adults in the world and I think this is a good way and a fun way to respecteverything that’s been going on,” Cahill said.

Not only did Impulse to Dance attract those wanting to respect the victims, it brought awareness to those who aren’t familiar with what happened in Orlando. 

Once each student felt present in the moment, Fabionar read off the names of each victim of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, while small tealight candles were simultaneously placed on a table beside him. 

The lights served as a physical representation of each life being honored and remembered, and tears were shed from those who felt the weight of the 49 names. 

Carina Buzo, program coordinator for The Hub, explained what Impulse to Dance meant to her.

“The Hub wanted to do [Impulse to Dance] in order to show our commitment to standing in solidarity with folks and communities who are experiencing violence and to be able to celebrate the people that are still apart of our community,” Buzo said.    

After each tealight was placed, Rachel Mckibben stepped foot onto the empty stage. 

Mckibben, who writes daring and thought--provoking poetry, recited three separate poems all addressing present day issues including sexauality, self--acceptance and the acceptance of others. 

The energy continued when the first ever woman beatbox champion, Butterscotch, took the stage. 

Butterscotch amazed the crowd and switched between upbeat rhythms and more somber and soulful sounds. The crowd grew larger as her unique voice drew people near.

Students continued to listen, dance and appreciate the performance of Butterscotch throughout the rest of the event. 

The energy and spirit could be easily felt throughout the atmosphere bringing students together. 

Through dance and the appreciation of music, the event created a sense of community through honoring, remembering and respecting the lives lost.