Torchlight parade sparks community, ignites campus passion

OUR VIEW: Despite the climate in the wake of violent Charlottesville protest, we hold true to our campus ethics and support the torch lighting ceremony for homecoming.

Campuses across the country have ended events like the torch lighting ceremony after the protest in Charlottesville; however, our tradition is meant to connect our community and outweighs the violent and racially-charged atmosphere. Homecoming centralizes on students and faculty coming together to celebrate every aspect of the campus. From our award-winning Golden Thunder marching band to our Division 1 cycling team, homecoming is meant to encourage everyone to celebrate one another’s accomplishments.

There is legitimate and valid concerns with a large group of people together, however after everything the student body has gone through this semester alone, we choose to be unified in this divisive time instead of crumbling. Strength is founded as a response to hardships, and we will not be reduced to internal conflict.

As ridiculous as it sounds, the Tiki company apologized in a Facebook post following the violence, so while it seems like a stretch to apply this to our campus, it’s not such a long shot to think something like the torchlight parade and bonfire could turn sour quickly.