U bent hier
Together with the whole of the European Union, VUB held a minute of silence this Monday at 12 o’clock to commemorate the victims of the brutal attacks in Paris last Friday. A large part of the VUB community assembled in front of the Rectorate building. After the minute of silence, Marjon Eberaert of ‘Students for Life’ and rector Paul De Knop both held a short speech, against a backdrop of four flags flying at half-mast - one of which the tricolour of France.
In both speeches, the attack in Beirout was mentioned together with those in Paris, as well as the horror being experienced daily by the inhabitants of Syria and large parts of the Middle East.
Marjon Eberaert, speaking on behalf of the students, argued that we should not allow fear for each other and the unknown gain the upper hand and make us all turn sour. ‘The biggest monster is the one that hides in ourself,’ she said. She ended her speech with the words ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
With the annual St-V parade taking place at the end of the week, VUB rector Paul De Knop put in mind the motto the university derived from Henri Poincaré, namely that thinking should not subject itself to anything, except to the facts. ‘Today,’ he said, ‘thinking must above all not subject itself to fear.’
He pointed out that the measures and actions VUB undertakes to help the refugees will be carried out without any compromise. He ended his short speech stating that ‘darkness will never vanquish.’
A minute of silence in Jette as well
A minute of silence was held at the campus of Jette as well. Students and personnel from the faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy participated, as did the personnel of the Universitary Hospital located on the same premises.