Muslim Student Union holds vigil for Chapel Hill victims

first_imgThe Muslim Student Union hosted a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening outside the University Religious Center to honor three Muslims killed in a shooting near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday night.On Tuesday evening, 3 Chapel Hill residents, Muslims of Arab descent, were shot and killed by their apartment neighbor.At the vigil, participants gathered around lit candles placed on the ground in a peace sign. Attendees voluntarily spoke to the crowd about remaining strong for the Muslim community in a time of sadness. After the demonstration, a group of students huddled closer to the candles and prayed.Muslim Student Union President Mushfiqur Chowdhury said the vigil was focused on remembering how precious each life is.“The vigil served [the] purpose to show how fragile and innocent life can be, and at the same time to protect that and to sustain that and to remember that that’s our duty as neighbors, fellow Americans and people who are proud to be in this nation,” Chowdhury said.Varun Soni, dean of Religious Life of USC, recognized the loss of the students’ futures at the event.“We come together to ask ourselves, ‘can there be a loss greater than this?’” Soni said. “These student had big dreams, hopes and aspirations. They represented what was best about Islam and what was best about America.”USC Humanist Chaplain Bart Campolo said that the shooting made him aware of how Muslim students feel about peers misunderstanding their culture.“I was very shocked and deeply outraged by the news when I received it this morning,” Campolo said. “As the Humanist Chaplain however … I was also suddenly aware of how it feels to have your people and your way of life misunderstood and maligned because of the actions of people far away from you that are completely outside of your control and every Muslim on this campus knows exactly how that feels.”Hishaam Siddiqi, a senior majoring in business administration, said comfort on college campuses is necessary for the Muslim community“USC is a diverse campus, but there is only so many Muslims that this campus [has] and if I don’t go out of my way to join clubs like the Muslim Student Union it can quickly become a very, very lonely place,” Siddiqi said. “When you’re lonely and the entire country has an anti-Muslim sentiment you quickly become vulnerable no matter how liberal of an environment you might be in.”Siddiq said he hoped the event brought security to his fellow Trojans.“[For years] a lot of Muslim have been very afraid,” Siddiqi said. “Since 9/11, obvious tension in the country has been bad, but to have young people dying by being shot in the head is really bad. A big portion of the night tonight was so that Muslim students know that there is a sense of support and community and that USC supports religious life on campus and that it’s a place where we can find solidarity and comfort.”The Muslim Student Community is committed to giving all students a safe space, according to Chowdhury.“We’re here to provide a forum — a safe space — and fortunately the Office of Religious Life and Dean Varun Soni has helped us with that and provided us with the space and we’re servant leaders so we’re just trying to serve that to the other Muslim students,” Chowdhury said.Saaliha Khan, communication and project manager at NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, who was at the event, said the candlelit demonstration will brighten the community.“Today at USC, the Muslim Student Union and people of all backgrounds coming together was a demonstration to me of people transforming communities through the power of relationships, because it is these relationships and this sense of community that will continue to carry us forward through times of darkness.”Chowdhury reminded students that everyone must remain hopeful through tough times.“It’s in our darkest days that make the other days shine,” Chowdhury said. “We’re going to make sure that we don’t faint out. We’re going to be a strong flame in the sense that we’re here. We’re here to stay and we’re here to contribute.”last_img read more

Women of Troy prepare for Pac-12 championships

first_imgAfter a win over crosstown rivals UCLA, the USC women’s tennis team is ready to leave for Ojai, Calif., to compete in the Pac-12 championships from Wednesday until Sunday. The Women of Troy are seeking their first Pac-12 title since 1985.The No. 19 Women of Troy are currently undefeated in the Pac-12 with a 7-0 record. Overall they are 12-4 on the season, with the last loss coming at the hands of UCLA on Feb. 25.The Trojans currently have three players in the singles rankings. At No. 24 is senior Giuliana Olmos. The senior has an 11-3 record on the season and has a perfect 5-0 record in conference matches, with all wins coming from the top spot. At No. 115 is freshman Rianna Valdes, followed by sophomore Madison Westby at No. 116.In the doubles field the Women of Troy are led by Olmos and her partner, sophomore Gabby Smith, who are ranked No. 7 in the country. They are followed by Westby and junior Zoe Katz, ranked No. 80 in the country.The Women of Troy will face No. 13 Stanford (13-5, 8-1) to decide the Pac-12 champion. It’s the first meeting between the two teams, as their previous match on March 11 was canceled due to weather conditions.Stanford upset Cal last week 4-3 to hand the top-ranked Golden Bears their first loss of the season and set up Wednesday’s title match.In singles, four players are ranked nationally. Junior Carol Zhao is currently at No. 33, followed by junior Taylor Davidson at No. 40. Junior Caroline Doyle is currently ranked at No. 82, followed by senior Krista Hardebeck at No. 93.In doubles, Doyle and Davidson and are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation. Hardebeck also enjoys a spot in the doubles ranking, currently at No. 67 with freshman Caroline Lampl.On Thursday, the singles action will start. The format consists of a 32-player draw, with three players from each of the top-10 schools and two players from the 11th-place team. The Women of Troy will be represented by Olmos, Westby and Katz. The last Trojan to win the singles title is Amanda Fink, who was crowned back in 2009.The doubles draw will start on Friday. The format is a 16-team draw. Each school will have its top pair, plus five additional pairs selected by the Draw Committee. USC will have both Olmos/Smith and Katz/Westby in the draw. Olmos won the doubles crown in 2014, when she partnered with former Trojan Kaitlyin Christian.last_img read more

Newsmakers Series: Join Dodgers and Angels beat writers discuss the future

first_imgJoin columnists and beat writers from both Bay Area News Group and Southern California News Group as they discuss the future for Major League baseball. This webinar series will highlight the plans of each league for opening, the 2020 seasons at large, and what fans can expect from it. It’s also your chance to ask questions to beat reporters who were there throughout spring training and have been out at the stadiums since training resumed.We’ll discuss the upcoming season in detail, assessing the chances of the Giants, Dodgers, Angels and A’s. But in a season about to be launched at an unprecedented time in history, there are bigger questions and concerns. What impact will a 60-game season have on the races, the stats, the players? Will it even sustain itself for 60 games plus a postseason, or is it a house of cards destined to fall.When: Tues, 7/21 @ 10:00 AMHost: Bud Geracie, Sports Editor of the Mercury News Guests:SCNG– Jeff Fletcher (Angels), Bill Plunkett (Dodgers), J.P. Hoornstra (MLB)BANG– Kerry Crowley (Giants), Shayna Rubin (A’s)JOIN: Sign up for your place in the webinar here Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more