Johnston hallThe University of Guelph community joins others around the world in mourning following the weekend tragedy in Florida.

More than 50 people were killed early Sunday morning in a gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in American history.

“Such senseless acts of violence and loss of human life are saddening and shocking,” said president Franco Vaccarino.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as other people who have been affected by this tragedy.”

The University is among the sponsors of a candlelight vigil being held Thursday evening to remember and honour the victims of the tragedy and to show solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community of Orlando.

It will be held at 8 p.m. in Market Square, located in front of City Hall.

U of G Provost Charlotte Yates will be speaking, along with Jamie Vanderberg of the University’s multi-faith resource team and Yousr El Sharawy, former president of the U of G Muslim Student Association.

The vigil involves several community organizations, including Out of the Shelf, the City of Guelph, ARCH – HIV / AIDS Resources & Community Health, Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis and Guelph Queer Equality.

Noting U of G’s reputation for inclusiveness, including support for its LGBTQ+ community, Vaccarino said, “We must continue to respect and support one another, and work together to ensure that our core beliefs and ideals prevail over closed-minded acts of intolerance.”

U of G is home to Guelph Queer Equality, Canada’s oldest queer club on a university campus.

Some members of the U of G community have been directly or indirectly affected by these events.

The University reminds students and employees that personal counselling services are available on campus, as follows:

Student Counselling Services, Ext. 53244
Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff, 1-800-265-8310
Occupational Health, Ext. 52647
Multi-Faith Resource Team, Ext. 52392