UConn UNCHAIN club to host Club Q shooting vigil

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Today from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., the University of Connecticut club UNCHAIN will be hosting a vigil to pay respects to the victims of the Club Q shooting. 

On Saturday, Nov. 19 a shooting in an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs occurred, killing five people and leaving 17 injured, an NBC article said.  

UConn UNCHAIN is made up of activists from various backgrounds. Many of the club members identify with marginalized communities, Ben Sagal-Morris, a seventh-semester history, major said.  

“We are a group committed to anti-racism actions, eco-socialist actions and even anti-war or anti-imperialist actions,” Sagal-Morris said. 

Sagal-Morris is the Vice President of UConn UNCHAIN. They spoke about the importance of the club to the UConn community. 

“We are attempting to create a more just, fair and humane campus life,” Sagal-Morris said. 

The shooting in Club Q occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, UConn UNCHAIN accessibility officer Ashten Vassar said. 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis kneels in front of a memorial set up outside Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Polis, the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the United States, paid tribute to the victims who were killed in a mass shooting at the gay nightclub on Nov. 19. AP Photo/Thomas Peipert

“In addition to remembering the lives of Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump and Ashley Paugh, we want to give our community a space to grieve,” Vassar, who is a fifth-semester psychological sciences and human rights major with an American studies minor, said. “We need to show up for each other. Acts of community care like this are the most radical forms of love.” 

Vassar spoke on some expectations for the vigil and gave an idea of what participants or viewers should expect.  

“Attendees are encouraged to wear masks. Feel free to bring signs, messages of support and solidarity and an umbrella in case it rains. The vigil will be held rain or shine,” Vassar said. “Please keep the space respectful, our community is grieving.” 

Sagal-Morris talked about what they hope participants will get out of the vigil today.  

“It’s really about healing and remembering not just these victims, but the larger loss and victimization of the LGBTQ community,” Sagal-Morris said. 

Sagal-Morris mentioned that although this shooting was a surprise and was extremely tough news to hear, they were not surprised. 

“It’s been very difficult. It’s been very hard. I’ve talked to a lot of people, not just at UConn, who were also extremely hurt,” Sagal-Morris stated. 

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