For San Marcos students, synagogue shooting hit close to home

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SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Students at California State University San Marcos held a vigil Thursday night to honor all victims of hate, including the victims of the synagogue shooting in Poway.

Students said they were shocked and saddened to learn that the suspected shooter was a student at their school.

“Everyone thinks it’s so far away, and when it touches your life it’s crazy to think about it being real,” student Alexia Martinez said.

“Once I actually said out loud, ‘The synagogue shooter was a student at our school,’ I was really able to process how close to home this tragedy was,” Sophie Nadler said tearfully during her speech.

Nadler is one of the students who organized the event, called “Cougars in Solidarity: Together Against Hate.”

“I’m one of the many Jewish students here at Cal State San Marcos, and we were deeply affected by it,” Nadler said. “There’s no place for hatred on our campus. That’s just the bottom line, and I think we all agree with that and we need to do something to stop what has been happening on our campus.”

To stand up against hate, students released their emotions on paper, and leaders of different faiths and races stood before the crowd to set their feelings free.

“We’re all human beings and I really want you guys to get that in your system. That this is about life,” one student said.

After powerful words were spoken, a candlelight vigil was held to remember Lori Kaye who was killed in Poway’s synagogue shooting. Her name was called out along with dozens of others who have fallen victim to violence and hate.

Students are calling for action to end these tragedies, while leaning on each other to heal.

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