Members of theCrew and the French house teamed up Thursday night to bring awareness of French culture and offer ways for the TCU community to pay respect to victims of terror attacks in Paris.
Following the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and 359 people injured, the world united and many international leaders issued statements of mourning and solidarity in honor of France’s victims.
TCU student organizations united to show solidarity in the wake of Paris attacks.
“This event brings together a couple different groups on campus mainly theCrew and Le Maison Français [French house] and also it’s for Paris in light of what happened.” said Robert Hillery, theCrew leadership and development director. “I’m really glad we got to do the event because our thoughts and prayers go to Paris.”
Jean-Paul DuBos a resident and representative of French house said earlier the event was meant to bring awareness of French culture as well as French program to TCU community.
“Originally it did start out at more showing French culture and then giving more visibility to French house and French program on campus,” DuBos said.
The terrorist attacks last Friday prompted student residents of the French house to show condolences to French victims.
“We felt that was appropriate to set a little station for people to send their condolences and messages to support the victims,” said DuBos.
DuBos said he reached out to a French instructor to incorporate the ideas of showing support to French victims into reality.
“I sent the email to Madame Schein and she was able to carry that on to theCrew,” DuBos said.
Marie Schein, French instructor and faculty advisor for the French house, said student residents in the French house wanted to show solidarity immediately after terrorist attacks unfolded in France.
“It was incredible to hear from the students in the French house but other students as well Friday evening.” Schein said, “To hear how saddened it was and to hear that immediately, they wanted to respond, they wanted to find a way to show that they too hurt.”
TCU students were welcome to offer words of sympathy and support to French victims by English and French languages on Thursday night, said Schein.
“We decided that’s a nice gesture to do would be to write notes to the families of those who were affected by the tragedy.” Schein said, “Friends and families who were in the restaurants, the cafes and in the concert hall that night and around the stadium.”
Schein said notes will be sending to major local businesses that were most affected in the terror attack that struck Paris.
Around the world, many cities have joined in solidarity with Paris by lightning up monuments in blue, white and red to resemble the colors of the French flag. Mourners have held candlelight vigils, laid floral tributes and postcards outside many French embassies.
Schein said flowers were chosen to show solidarity and symbolic flowers will be placed on the notes that students wrote.
“We decorated with flowers as a symbol and as a way to ally ourselves with all the people have showed their support in Paris by bringing flowers. So the symbolic flowers will be placing on the notes,” Schein said.
Junior anthropology major Morgan O. John said the tragedy of the Paris attack was personal to her because of studying abroad experiences that she had in Paris.
“It’s very personal to me,” John said. “I studied abroad in France this summer for about four months, I made several trips to Paris and have several friends who are in Paris at the time it was attacked. Thank God they were alright.”
John said, “This shows that TCU is a place of global community truly because we do care these certain events that are happening. We come together for solidarity.”
Senior Brinton Munoz, theCrew team leader, said members of theCrew brainstormed ideas to help create French-inspired theme event.
“Ever since that happened, we decided to adapt our event so that we can incorporate something to support Paris and support that cause,” Munoz said.
Attendees of the event got to experience culture of France as theCrew brought in caricature artists from B3 Entertainment and presented the iconic symbol of the French Capital.
Chalkboards were also provided for attendees to write loving messages and pose for pictures in front of hand-made Eiffel Towel.
“While you’re taking pictures what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the chalkboard and you’re going to write a little personalized message whether that’s Je t’aime Paris or hashtag PrayforParis,” Munoz said.
TheCrew team member, Madison Mocek said the event had a good turnout since more than 100 people participated in the event.
“That’s a good turnout for us,” Mocek said. “I think we have a lot of people come out especially we’re writing letters to victims of Paris attack. A lot of people want to help out and send their condolences to people in France.”