AUP Student Voices: Sharing Reactions to Recent Events

November 24, 2015

During the past week, members of the AUP community have continued to share their heartfelt reactions to the horror of the recent attacks in Paris.

In a beautiful letter to his mother following the Fall break, student Colin Marston, writes about his emotional journey since he first learned about the attacks, his thoughts about the extraordinary nature of today’s global context as well as the evolution of his thinking following conversations back in the classroom with faculty.

Click here to read the letter in full

On Thursday of last week, students held a poignant vigil in honor of the victims of the attacks and their loved ones. Organized by student leaders, the vigil provided a moment of quiet reflection for faculty, students and staff who came to share a moment of collective remembrance and healing. Please take a moment to watch our time-lapse video which focuses primarily on the mural created by attendees of the vigil.


Posted on the mural were poems, thoughts and wishes in different languages. One of the beautiful poems contributed by a student is available to read here.

Finally, we share graduate student Sharon Zwach’s moving commentary and video below.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that:" After creating a memorial at La Republic, it began to rain. I slowly walked around the massive swarm of people that were crying under umbrellas, mourning throughout the wailing sirens, praying at the foot of the statue, and blanketing the scene of attack with flowers, candles, letters, pieces of artwork, and other symbols of peace. Some had even placed flowers inside the bullet holes in the windows of the attacked restaurants, a powerful reminder of the importance of turning something tragic into something good. These images of my second home will forever be pierced into my memory forever, a difficult reminder to me of how precious every life is no matter who you are. Thank you to those who reached out to me in the past few days- all of your messages have really helped me during this tragic time. Thank you Brian Higgins for the hearts that you mailed to me from over 4000 miles away on last valentine's day: today, they found their purpose. After making a full circle around the grieving crowd, I returned to the spot where I began, only to find to my surprise that someone had added a candle to the memorial that I had left behind. #ShineOn #CityOfLights #CityOfLove #ILoveYouParis #JeTaimeParis #PrayForParis #PrayForTheWorld

As we continue to capture student voices, we will share them here with the AUP community.