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Candlelight Vigil Monday Following Deaths of UW Students

March 5, 2021

A candlelight vigil in recognition of the four student lives lost in recent weeks is scheduled Monday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Wyoming.

The event is open to both the campus and local community, and will be held at the “Always a Cowboy” Memorial Plaza on the eastern edge of Prexy’s Pasture.

In the past three weeks, UW has lost these members of the campus community:

-- Ashton Singer, 18, a chemical engineering major.

-- Sienna Potter, 18, an early education major.

-- Rebecca Marley, 19, a marketing major in the honors program.

-- William Malone, 21, a computer science major in the honors program.

“These past few weeks have been challenging for our campus. This event is about bringing a community together so we can grieve collectively and support one another,” UW President Ed Seidel says. “We are seeking to hold a space where people can come together to recognize the individuals whose young lives were cut short.”

Among the candlelight vigil speakers are Seidel, University Counseling Center Director Toi Geil and Dean of Students Ryan O’Neil. The planned program includes a moment of silence and a musical performance by students from the UW Department of Music.

The Associated Students of UW (ASUW) will provide candles for the vigil at stations around the plaza. Additionally, ASUW has organized an online form for students to share memories about the deceased students, and plans to take the sentiments shared and turn them into a visual to be shared with campus.

“We are saddened by the losses that the student body has experienced recently. We hope this can provide students an outlet to celebrate the lives of their wonderful peers,” ASUW President Riley Talamantes says.

In an effort to host a safe event on campus, COVID-19 safety measures for campus will be maintained.

“We know students are looking for a space to come together, and we are taking every measure to ensure we can gather safely,” O’Neil says.

Masks are required on campus. Additionally, people will be asked to maintain distance from those who do not live with them. Sanitizer stations with extra masks will be placed around the plaza area.

To accommodate those who prefer to participate virtually, a Zoom webinar will be established for viewing the event.

Following the vigil, attendees are invited to grab a warm beverage in the Wyoming Union breezeway as they return home. University counselors will be available for a debriefing in the Wyoming Union Family Room. UW Residence Life staff members will be available in the hall lobbies and community center for conversation.

The on-campus candlelight vigil is being organized by a team including ASUW, the Dean of Students Office and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, with guidance from the University Counseling Center.

For more information about the candlelight vigil, email the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwyo.edu.

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