Northeastern community comes together at campus vigil

Sev­eral hun­dred stu­dents, fac­ulty, staff, and uni­ver­sity leaders gath­ered together Tuesday after­noon for a campus vigil, where they talked, held hands, and sang in sol­i­darity a day after the deadly Boston Marathon bomb­ings occurred about one mile from campus.

Some North­eastern com­mu­nity mem­bers donned their marathon attire at the vigil, called “A Time for Remem­brance, Reflec­tion, and Resilience” and held at 4 p.m. in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room. Throughout the event, atten­dees wept, hugged each other, and lis­tened intently to the calming reflec­tions and prayers.

Robert Jose, asso­ciate dean for cul­tural, res­i­den­tial, and spir­i­tual life, opened the vigil by noting that while our com­mu­nity has been wounded, it is in these times of doubt, con­fu­sion, and fear that we must stand together.

“It’s impor­tant in great moments of hurt and pain that we rally around those things that strengthen us and lift us up,” Jose said.

Jose empha­sized the impor­tance of remem­bering what has hap­pened so that we can reflect and emerge from crises a stronger community.

“Often in times of great pain, we want to hit the delete button. But we must remember, and let that remem­brance spur us on to vig­i­lance. We are free people, but vig­i­lance is the price of freedom,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun acknowl­edged mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity who sprung into action Monday. They included phys­ical therapy stu­dents and fac­ulty working in a med­ical tent at the marathon finish line, public safety offi­cials who coor­di­nated with Boston emer­gency respon­ders, and a host of uni­ver­sity staff who reached out to mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity in need of assistance.

On Tuesday, Aoun and Philomena Man­tella, senior vice pres­i­dent of enroll­ment man­age­ment and stu­dent life, vis­ited with three stu­dents and two par­ents who were injured in the blasts and were recov­ering at Tufts Med­ical Center and Boston Med­ical Center. The attacks claimed three lives and injured more than 140 people on the Patriots Day hol­iday during one of Boston’s most cher­ished traditions.

The vigil also fea­tured sev­eral moving prayers from Center for Spir­i­tu­ality, Dia­logue and Ser­vice staff from a variety of faiths.

A variety of resources are avail­able to those in need, including sup­port from staff at Uni­ver­sity Health and Coun­seling Ser­vice, the Center for Spir­i­tu­ality, Dia­logue and Ser­vice. Stu­dents in need of assis­tance may also con­tact the WeCare pro­gram at wecare@​neu.​edu or 617–373‑4384. North­eastern fac­ulty and staff may con­tact the Employee Assi­tance Pro­gram at 877–739‑3989.

“If you know anyone, any member of the com­mu­nity or extended com­mu­nity who has been hurt, who needs help, or who needs com­fort, let us know,” Aoun said. “We are here for each other.”

The event con­cluded with those gath­ered together singing the song “Peace, Salaam Shalom.”