DMU holds vigil for refugees

By Holly Hume

De Montfort University held a 24-hour candle-lit vigil last Wednesday to show solidarity with refugees.


The vigil, held in Hawthorn Square at the heart of the campus, had hour-long slots filled by talks, an exercise class and performances by the choir, among other activities.


A popular element of the vigil was the act of tying ribbons onto the fence outside the Hawthorn building, where many students and pedestrians stopped to tie their support.

Several volunteers were assisting the event, organised by Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard.

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Michael Hughes, the DMU Rowing coach, attended the vigil.

Mr Hughes said: “As someone who has lived overseas, as someone who’s travelled the world, I’m aware of the amazing diversity of the world and recently with everything that’s been going on, it’s quite important that we appreciate that we’re part of a wider community.”


He added: “I know from being a stranger in a foreign land how over whelming it can be when you’re in a country that you don’t feel welcome in, and I think it’s important for us to get involved and to show that we’re all one world and one people.

“I think it shows that DMU cares about the bigger picture and the world.

“I work here and I was quite surprised and impressed by the diversity of the university in general, and the effort it makes to prove to the world about what it believes in, this is just a great part of that.”

Mr Shellard himself attended the vigil several times to talk to the crowds, tie ribbons and show his support.

The vigil was also covered online by the DMU social media accounts, publishing photographs and details throughout the 24-hour period.