University of West Florida Students Gather for Prayer Vigil Supporting Las Vegas Victims

Below release provided by University of West Florida Student Government Association.
PENSACOLA, FL - Sunday evening, October 1, an attack on innocent lives was made in Las Vegas. With 59 dead and over 500 injured from the shooting, UWF students came together on the Cannon Green the following evening to mourn, reflect, and remember those who lost their lives less than 24 hours before.

Over 100 students attended the vigil held at 8 p.m. where students huddled together to pray and reflect during a moment of silence.

The members of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity led an effort to organize the gathering after UWF Student, Jacob Benefield, decided the community needed an opportunity to reflect on the tragedy and emotions that came from this news.

“This prayer vigil was prepared for the victims, families, and fellow devastated Americans of the Las Vegas mass shooting last night. On behalf of myself and the fellow students of UWF, we are mourning with them,” Benefield said. “Our voices might not be the loudest or carry the furthest, but we wanted to make it apparent that we are committed to change.”

Students found out about this event through an online Facebook page, other social media outlets, or by word of mouth.

Jonathan Martinez, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and a senator in SGA, led the group in prayer. Benefield spoke afterward, encouraging his fellow students to stay strong in light of the tragedy.

"It was an amazing feeling to see Argos come together as one united community”, SGA President Kishane Patel said. “It never fails to amaze me that our students work together as a family to shed a light of unity and peace to our society."

We are proud of the efforts on behalf of the student body to respond to this event with such quickness and consideration. With heavy hearts, our thoughts go out to the victims and their family members. SGA is committed to doing everything we can to ensure our campus remains a safe place for students to learn and

If you or someone you care about is in need of support, please do not hesitate to contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (850) 474-2420, or seek out their self-help resources on the website.

For more information contact the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation at (901) 748-1948 or