Students remember Newtown Victims

Jessie Hellmann

On a cold, windy Monday night, more than 40 people huddled together with candles in hand on the Quad to remember the victims of an elementary school shooting which occurred in Newtown, Conn.

The shooting took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012 at approximately 9:40 a.m. Twenty-seven people died: 20 children, six adults and the shooter. The shooter, Adam Lanza, first killed his mother at her home, and then went to the school.


“I just keep asking myself why – why could someone do such a thing to innocent people?” freshman exercise science and Spanish major Nicole Mayberry said when she first heard the news. “It really hit hard for me.”


The USI memorial ceremony was organized by freshman biology and mathematics major, Nehal Ninad, originally from Katihar, India.

“In 2008, my cousin was killed in a terrorist attack, and my aunt never fully recovered from his death,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help her, but there wasn’t anything I could do. When first finding out about the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut I knew I had to do something.”

Ninad said he decided to organize the event because he knew the families and friends of the victims were going through similar grieving processes that his aunt had suffered through, and the urge to help resurfaced.

He said having a remembrance ceremony, even though Evansville is far Newtown, was important.

“I feel that even though the United States is such a large country, we are very connected,” he said.

Ninad asked Jeffery Seyler, department chair of chemistry at Pott College of Science and Engineering, to speak during the remembrance.

“We should let people know everywhere, that there are people to talk to from both sides, whether you are struggling with something or you are recovering from an event,” Seyler said.

Seyler said he feels everyone should take the time to listen to someone, because a person could be going through something difficult.