To honor of the victims of the catastrophic devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, more than 60 students gathered on the Diag Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil.

The storm ripped across the nation on Nov. 8, and entire villages were swept away, over 10,000 people have been reported dead and an estimated 4 million people have been displaced, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Organized by the Filipino American Student Association and the Michigan Environmental Group Alliance, the vigil opened with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and continued with students sharing personal stories of friends and family who are living in the Philippines and dealing with the major natural disaster.

Typhoon Haiyan, which reached land on Nov. 8, caused major destruction in the Philippines, killing nearly 4,000 people and displacing thousands more, according the Associated Press.

CSG representative Jodi Ramos, a Nursing senior, said the purpose of the candlelight vigil was to bring awareness and supportive to the conditions in the Philippines.

“As media coverage on the typhoon wears down as time goes on, we want everyone to keep in mind that support efforts are still needed,” Ramos said.

Like several other students who were present at the candlelight vigil, Ramos has family in the Philippines who were affected by the storm. She said her family lives in the western Visayas region — an area devastated by the storm.

“Thankfully, all of my family is pretty safe, but my parents’ hometown was hit pretty hard and is in need in a lot of support right now,” Ramos said.

Another focus of the event was the impact that Americans have upon climate change and how this affects others, such as those in the Philippines.

Public Policy junior Marissa Solomon said Americans process of production is “fossil fuel-heaving,” producing excessive carbon dioxide and resulting in climate change.

“This is causing a lot more natural disasters,” she said.

Solomon said students can decrease their impact on the environment by making small changes, such as unplugging electronics when they are not in use. However, she said changes in policy would have a bigger impact and encourages students to urge politicians to make changes that will benefit the environment.

FASA sold $5 wristbands after the vigil to raise money for the Philippine Red Cross and Advancement for Rural Kids, which promotes education and fights hunger in the developing world.

Faraon said students who would like to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan should research and donate to different charities that are directly helping victims in the Philippines.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.