Students in France safe after terrorist attacks

Members of the U community also held a vigil on Sunday evening.

Eliana Schreiber

All University of Minnesota students in France for school-related purposes are safe after terrorist attacks Friday night in Paris killed 129 people.
 
The University’s Learning Abroad Center doesn’t have any students studying in Paris this semester, but some visited the city last weekend, said LAC associate director Zach Mohs. 
 
Those students are based in Montpellier, he said. 
 
In the past, the LAC has evacuated students from their host countries, but their policy adjusts to each circumstance, Mohs said. 
 
Muslim Students Association President Mahmoud Mire said he received a number of messages urging his organization to respond to the attacks in 
Paris. 
 
“We finally made a small post at the end, but we didn’t want to go to the apologist mentality because obviously we weren’t responsible for this,” Mire said. “A lot of Muslims fall into that mentality, though. But you don’t have to apologize.”
 
Mire said some members of the Muslim community felt compelled to make a statement about the attacks to avoid fueling the misinterpretation that the attacks are indicative of all Muslims. 
 
In response to last week’s terrorist attacks, scores of University students gathered in front of Coffman Union on Saturday evening. 
 
The vigil brought a group of more than 100 students together to mourn the deaths of people in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris.
 
After reading friends and family members’ posts on social media and seeing their vocal support for the victims, junior Raj Satpathy decided to organize the event. 
 
Satpathy said he remembers France’s support for the U.S. after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and wanted to reciprocate by showing U.S. unity with its allies.
 
“We focus on just praying for everyone,” Mire said. “Don’t let the fear overtake you, because that’s exactly what these terrorists want.”